The Basis of Eternal Redemption (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 2 of 4
If it is possible to fall away, as this passage in Hebrews suggests, or in effect become again as an unbeliever without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, this verse seems to contradict others throughout scripture which talk about eternal redemption. So, it is important to first look at eternal redemption, what it is, what has been promised and who it is for; so we understand what the writer is saying in these verses concerning falling away.
Eternal redemption can be defined in this way; it is putting saving faith in the complete and perfect work of Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord, accepting the payment and forgiveness for your sins, trusting in Him to do what you cannot do. Once this happens you are saved, period. This is an eternal decision. You cannot lose what has been given to you as a gift.
Jesus made this quite clear. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30).
Paul asked a similar question in Romans 8, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Romans 8:35a). His response, "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).
Besides these verses which clearly teach that no outside force can separate us from God, we have several promises from Jesus that show His intention for eternal redemption. First he offers us eternal life (John 3:16; John 3:36; John 10:10; John 17:3, I John 5:11-13). Secondly He told us He would never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua 1:5, John 14:18, Hebrews 13:5). Next, He gave us the Holy Spirit as a deposit to ensure these promises (Romans 8:15-17; II Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Timothy 1:14; Titus 3:4-6). Next, He gave us power and authority in this world and over the forces in the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 10:19; Romans 8:17; Ephesians 2:6; I John 5:4-5). Lastly, He wrote our names in the Lamb’s book of Life and keeps a record in heaven of all of those who have placed faith in Him (Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:12;15). These few things only scratch the surface when it comes to the promises that God made to us because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. And if that isn’t enough, He promised Jesus on oath that He would never change his mind regarding these things (Hebrews 6:17-18; Hebrews 7:21-22). So we can have confident hope in the things promised to us regarding eternal life and our redemption.
Another amazing truth is that this offer of salvation is for anyone regardless of what you have done or haven't done. Paul said, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). There was no qualifier to this statement, it is for everyone. All that is required is to ask, believe and receive. It doesn't get any simpler than this.
By considering all of these things, we can see how it is impossible to lose your salvation once you have placed saving faith in Jesus and what He did to bring you into fellowship with God the Father. You cannot lose it, you cannot misplace it and most importantly it cannot be taken away from you.
We've established that you cannot lose your salvation, but Hebrews teaches that it is impossible to be brought back again to repentance once you've fallen away. Join me tomorrow as we look at what falling away means… in Part 3, What Does it Mean to Fall Away?