- Warning Against Deliberately Not Maturing
- Characteristics of An Apostate (A person who deliberately rejects Jesus despite having no excuse to do so)
4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance,
Word Study: To be enlightened, it is to be given knowledge or information.
Background: In Hebrews 5:9, the writer of hebrews indicated to the Hebrews that Jesus is the source of salvation. These Hebrews that the writer is writing to, are Jewish people who either have not yet accepted Jesus and have not let go of the old Jewish beliefs. This is the reason the writer of Hebrews is telling them that Jesus is the only source of salvation. In verse 11 of the same chapter, the writer of hebrews told them that they have become dull of hearing, meaning that because they have heard the gospel of Jesus so many times and still reject it, they no longer are able to even hear it. Their ears have learned to block the gospel out. In verse 12 the writer tells them that with the amount of gospel of Jesus that has been preached to them, they at this point are supposed to have been teachers but, instead, they are the ones that still need to be taught the basics of the gospel of Jesus. In verses 12-14, the writer calls them babies who still are unable to discern right from wrong. In Hebrews 6:1-3, the writer urges them to move on from their old testament beliefs and look unto Jesus. The writer even list some of the beliefs that are part of the old testament and asks them to move on from them.
Message: This then brings us to Hebrews 6:4-8 which is the message of today. After urging them in verses 1-3 to move on from the old testament beliefs and to look unto Jesus for salvation and even listing examples of these old testament beliefs that they need to move from, the writer now moves on to give them a warning if they don’t accept Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation. The writer starts by saying “For it is impossible…”. This word impossible means exactly that. It is impossible. It means nothing other than impossible. The writer of hebrews told them that it is impossible in the case of those whose characteristics he listed, to be restored to repentance. In other words, it is impossible to restore all unbelievers who exhibits the characteristics listed above, to repentance. Once they have all the characteristics listed above and they still reject Jesus, there is no way of making them disciples or children of God. That is final and the only thing left is a fearful expectation of judgement and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies, which they have now become by rejecting Jesus, this according to Hebrews 10:27. If you reject Jesus Christ, you remain an enemy of God. Enemy? You ask, yes enemy:Romans 5:10 (NIV) 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
So, as you can see, you reject Jesus, you remain an enemy of God. What are these characteristics? Let’s look at them:
An unbeliever who has been enlightened with the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus and understands it. This is an unbeliever who has tasted the heavenly gifts, meaning this unbeliever has also been blessed since he was around those that were being blessed and has benefitted from it. You would remember that in 1 Co 7 Paul does indicate that an unbeliever can be blessed by being in the company of a believer. So this is an unbeliever who has spend time around believers and has also benefitted from the blessings. This is an unbeliever who has experienced the power of the Holy Spirit through other believers around him. He has seen what those who are full of the Holy Spirit can do. He does not have the Holy Spirit himself though, he just experiences it through others. This is an unbeliever who has tasted the goodness of the word of God, meaning, this unbeliever has listened to the word, has understood the word and has seen what the word can do and has seen how good the word of God is. This is an unbeliever who has experienced the powers of the age to come, meaning, he has experienced already what those who will be in heaven will live like by being among believers who by the power the Holy Spirit through Jesus, are experiencing joy, peace and happiness even through suffering. This is an unbeliever who having experienced all of the above, still turns around and rejects Jesus and turns his back on Him. When an unbeliever has done this, it is impossible to restore them to repentance, in other words, it is impossible to bring them back to the path of repentance. I need to mention at this point that, this is not referring to someone who has accepted Jesus and now rejects Him. This is someone who fell short of accepting Jesus and who decided to reject Him. This person is an unbeliever.
- The Reason why it is Impossible
- since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
Message: The person who is an unbeliever, after experiencing all that is mentioned above, turns around and rejects Jesus and turns his back on Him, cannot be restored or brought back to the path of repentance. The reason being that this unbeliever is crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding Him up to contempt or to shame. If an unbeliever after experiencing all of the above, rejects Jesus, he actually agrees with those that have crucified Him and he is saying that they were correct in crucifying him and Jesus deserves the shame of being hanged on the cross. This unbeliever does this at his own risk for this action, makes him liable to God’s wrath and he will be punished.
- 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
Message: Then the writer of Hebrews gives an example that shows that the gospel of Jesus, which is the rain in this case, falls on both believers and unbelievers, which are the earth. Believers produce fruits pleasing to God and receives blessings and those who reject the gospel of Jesus, produce worthless fruits, they are cursed and burned in hell.
The writer of Hebrews is not only talking to the Hebrews, he is also talking to you today who has also experienced some or all of the above characteristics and still rejects Jesus. He is talking to you who day in and day out listens to the word of God being preached but you still reject Jesus. He is talking to you who has family members who are believers but you still reject Jesus. He is talking to you who has no excuse for rejecting Jesus but yet you still reject him. He is talking to you who comes to church every Sunday but you still reject Jesus. He is urging you to repent and look upon Jesus as your only source of salvation.