Impossible But Not Unforgivable

American culture thrives on excuses and justifications, rhetoric, misinformation, and spin. Actually, all cultures do. It's called the human condition.

We say we want to know the truth, but do we? Can we handle it when the truth doesn't fit our expectations or preconceived notions?

Perhaps that's why we're so big on "money-back guarantees" in America. I'm pretty sure we're the only country that sells extended warranties, paying twice or three times the cost of the item, just for peace of mind if it breaks.

When this quest for guaranteed guarantees carries over to spiritual truth and theology, it causes problems. The western mind (including Americans) prize logic and legal wording when it comes to theology. We like iron-clad truth!

After a quarter century of experience, I find that most other cultures accept the truth of God's Word and God more openly than a typical westerner. It makes sense to them to trust God.

Seeking guaranteed truth and theology is an indicator that we God don't really trust God. This is backward. It's we—all of humanity—who can't be trusted.

Scripture

With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn’t repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God. 

We shouldn’t repeat the basic teachings about such things as baptisms, setting people apart for holy tasks, dead people coming back to life, and eternal judgment. If God permits, we will do this.

Some people once had God’s light. They experienced the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit. They experienced the goodness of God’s word and the powers of the world to come. Yet, they have deserted ⌊Christ⌋.

They are crucifying the Son of God again and publicly disgracing him. Therefore, they cannot be led a second time to God.

(Hebrews 6:1-6 GW) [Context– Hebrews 5–6]

KEY PHRASE—

We should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on

Digging Deeper...

Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions

  • What are we encouraged to do? What things should we not need to relearn?

  • Why do you think we are encouraged to "stop going over the[se] elementary truths..."?

  • What are we told about "some people" and what cannot happen for them?

  • What are they doing when they try to "be led a second time to God"?

Reflection...

A first experience can't be repeated. We might try to rescript it the way we want to remember it, but it won't happen again as a first experience. Nicodemus understood this even though he didn't understand the idea of spiritual new birth when Jesus spoke of the need to be "born again" (John 3:3-9).

This is the point of the warning and exhortation in this text. It's not a scare tactic, it's a warning, the third in a series of five warnings in the book of Hebrews. Most questions and opinions about verse 4 of this text focus on the word impossible, as it's expressed in other versions (Heb 6:4-6). [one of the reasons I chose the version of this text above]

This isn't a clever theological puzzle to challenge Christians, nor is it an issue of obedient performance. It's an issue of trust.

The need for Jesus to come as our Redeemer was in response to the broken trust between the first humans and their Creator. Jesus, through His death and resurrection, reversed the curse pronounced by God after Adam and Eve chose a lie over the truth of God because they chose not to trust what He said (Gen 3:11-19).

Repentance is a heart attitude, not a one-time act. It's an attitude of trust that leads to action based on God's grace at work in us. In theological terms, it's called salvation or redemption.

Each believer is called to personally follow Jesus. It's a commitment of trust, the same way a marriage vow is made. It doesn't need to be remade over and over again, even when we stumble or fail in our commitment to Jesus. We simply need to continue in this commitment.

Just as Jesus died once for all—for all sin, for all people, for all time (Heb 7:27; 9:12, 26, 28; 10:10, 12, 14, 18). We need to trust Him once and for all!

Make it personal...

Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions

  • Are you concerned whether or not you could "lose your salvation"? Why?

  • Have you learned to take God at His Word and trust Him over your feelings and doubts?

  • Are you growing in your faith and trust in God beyond elementary teachings?

  • How are you choosing to continue in your commitment to God on a daily basis?

©2017—Word-Strong


Here's a free introduction for the book of Hebrews— Intro to studying Hebrews