“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted of the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him [Jesus] to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessings of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” (Hebrews 6:4-8)
This is the last of a six part series dealing with the above passage.
It is a shame that sometimes passages like these can be used by some to instill a great sense of fear in certain individuals who need more comfort than condemnation. I, for one, am sorry if any of my writings have ever done this. They should not.
The above passage is dealing specifically with a certain type of person, and it is the person who has begun to scorn the Lord Jesus Christ in one way or another, through his or her lifestyle, or words, etc. However, we all know that there are a great many people who do this on a regular basis. And yet, many of these, as we know, do come to a true sense of repentance somewhere along the line in their lives. I think this should make us think about the context of the above passage.
If we were to examine a passage like 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, we would discover that there were those Christians who were beginning to abuse the Lord’s Communion Table. In fact, the passage seems to point out that they were even using the opportunity to get drunk, and have a “party” of sorts, when, in fact, this was to be a very serious type of occasion (as we read in the Bible concerning the last supper in which Jesus was with His disciples).
Now the passage in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 tells us that some of these individuals suffered judgment from the Lord. Some were sick; others “fell asleep.” The words “fell sleep” here is a euphemism for “died.” This we know from passages like John 11:13, in which the context and the word is the same: “Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.” I guess what I am trying to say then, is that, if we compare the 1 Corinthians 11 passage and this one (Hebrews 6:4-8), I feel we are really looking at the same thing. Both, I believe is very clear, refer to judgment being “executed” (for lack of better word) on Christians.
The purpose of God’s judgment, however, is not to kill us, but to bring us life. I think this is where many of us go wrong. God is not bad in His judgment, He is loving. Let’s look at a passage which clearly spells that out: “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:7-9).
I think, then, that if we were to compare the 1 Corinthians 11 passage with the Hebrews 6:4-8 passage, we would then have to come up with the (correct) thought that (1) In the midst of God’s judgment upon his sons and daughters, God want us to live, but (2) there can reach a point which is “too” far, in which it is impossible “to be brought back to repentance” (Hebrews 6:6). What does this mean? I think it means premature death, actually (I am not trying to condemn anyone). Are these people Christians? I think so, actually. I think, too, that this is entirely consistent with what other parts of the Bible teach. For what does it teach about the nature of God’s discipline, and His judgment? “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
Remember, however, that in the midst of God’s discipline upon His children, that He is always loving. Please, don’t let that judgment (whatever it may be) turn you away from God’s love, and cause you to run away from Him or His people — that would also be running away from the source of your resolution to your problem. Rather, let it spur you on to getting closer to Him. There are many ways to doing that, including: (1) maintaining regular, consistent, fellowship with ALL types of Christians, not just those you are pleased to “hang out with,” (2) truly reserving TIME to be with the Father ALONE, and honestly EXPRESS to Him your deepest burdens (this will do more for you than you can imagine!), (3) reading His word consistently, so He can SPEAK to you through it. You may also want to try FASTING one day a month, for example, so that you can regain a sense of self-control in your life. This will greatly help your walk of faith with God. Jesus said that when He would be gone, His disciples WOULD fast. Are you?
These are just some suggestions. Remember, when you are in a right relationship with God, as we discovered in yesterday’s message, you will be able to rest in His love and acceptance for you, since you are His beloved child. This will enable you to truly bear fruit for His kingdom, and the glory will go to Him, since it will truly be Him working through you.