What Does it Mean to Fall Away? (Hebrews 6:4-6)
"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 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 to public disgrace" (Hebrews 6:4-6)
Part 3 of 4
We've established that you cannot lose your salvation, nor can anyone take it away from you, but Hebrews teaches that it is impossible to be brought back again to repentance once you've fallen away. If it is possible to fall away after being born again, it is important to look at this and understand what the writer is saying. Remember for every Biblical truth there is an equal and opposite truth that appears to contradict. Like our example of the tightrope, these truths pull in an equal and opposite direction to bring balance. In all cases it is not an either or scenario, but both. So understanding both sides of the apparent contradiction will expand your revelation of God's amazing grace and heighten your appreciation of the choice offered to you in Jesus.
Salvation is a choice and every person is offered this choice as a gift of God's grace. The choice is whether or not you accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and place your faith in Him. God does not make you chose Him although He desires it. He did everything possible to offer this to us but when it comes to the bottom line, we have a choice whether or not to accept this gift. John says, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13). The only thing required is receiving this free gift.
So, if the only way into the kingdom of God is by choice, then it also makes sense that the only way out of the kingdom is by choice. Remember you cannot lose your salvation, no one can take it from you, God will never leave you or forsake you, but at any point you decide you no longer want to belong in this kingdom, you can renounce it and God honors that decision. God chose us and in return he wants us to chose him This is the highest form of relationship one can have, one of mutual choice.
In Paul’s beautiful expose to the Romans he said, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing external can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus but notice a person’s free will is not on that list.
This is why the writer of Hebrews advises us to get past the elementary truths of God and to gain knowledge and spiritual insight. Because the more you know about God and his loving nature toward you the less likely you will become complacent in this life concerning the things of God. The less complacent, the less hard of heart and more responsive toward the Holy Spirit and His leading in your life. In other words, the more you have an intimate working knowledge of God, the less likely you will be to fall away because of the snares of this world.
Peter also had something to say about this. "If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them." (II Peter 2:20-21).
This concept is mentioned in scripture to show us God’s full nature of grace not to give us an out. His desire from the beginning has always been to have relationship with us, which is why He sent Jesus to restore all things. It is our choice and always remains such. However, there are conditions on falling away or in essence becoming reprobate and renouncing salvation. It is not something one can do easily. Certain guidelines must first be met, in other words, one must be a mature Christian and fully aware of the decision and it’s result.
Join me tomorrow for Part 4 of 4, The Conditions of Becoming Reprobate.