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Hebrews 6:4-6 states, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of Go...
It has been suggested by some people that this verse is teaching that if a Christian today "falls away"� from their faith that not only will the Holy Spirit abandon them, but that if they recognize their sin and repent and ask forgiveness that Christ will turn his back on them and refuse to forgive them of their sin. How in the world can a Christian believe this? There is no sin too big for Christ. There is no amount of sin that Christ's death on the cross cannot cover. There is no end to the forgiving and loving nature of our God. No matter how many times we sin, no matter how many times we mess up, no matter how many times we give into our flesh and sin, Christ is always there willing and able to forgive, redeem, and restore us. Nobody while alive is beyond the forgiving and redeeming grasp of Christ. Nobody. What's astonishing to me is how easy this verse actually is to understand. When reading the Bible, we always have to remember that each book is written to a specific people for a specific reason to say a specific thing. Hebrews was written to a Jewish audience. More specifically, it was written to a Christian Jewish audience. And even more specifically, it was written to Christian Jews who were being persecuted for their faith. Many of these Jews had lost their land, their jobs, or even their families. Their persecution was great. Land was very important to Jews, it was their inheritance from God. So the loss of land was a real blow to these Jews. In the midst of their persecution a false theology began to work its way in. The thought came up that because these Jews would have been saved under the old law before Christ, that maybe they could abandon their faith in Christ and go back to the old law. The thought was that since they were saved under the old law and that they were not persecuted that they could go back to the old sacrificial system and the old ways and still be saved. The author of Hebrews writes against this theology. He explains to these persecuted Christian Jews that the old law does not save any longer. Now that Christ has come, Salvation is found through him. This is why Hebrews was written. These are the people that it was written to. Now, with just that simple understanding, look at again at 6:4-6 and you'll see that this verse says absolutely nothing to us about losing our Salvation and absolutely absolutely absolutely nothing about the idea that if we slip up and "fall away"� from our faith that Christ will refuse to forgive us. Let's look closer: Verses 4,5: 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 Here the author makes clear that the people he is speaking to are in fact Christians. Only a true Christian has tasted the heavenly gift and has shared in the Holy Spirit. So we know that the author is speaking directly to these persecuted Christians. Verse 6: 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. Here, it is important to realize that when the author says "fall away"� he is meaning go back to the old way. These Jews have already accepted Christ. The forgiveness for their sins is found through Christ's work on the cross. If they fall away and turn back to the old law they cannot be brought back to repentance. There is no forgiveness of sins under the old law now that Christ has been crucified. Christ paid the ultimate price, and suggesting that they don't need Christ, and thinking that they can reject what Christ did and go back to the old way would be like crucifying him all over again. This is why Christ came to give us forgiveness. Forgiveness now comes through Christ, not the old law. I find it absolutely ludicrous that Christians can think that Christ would strip somebody of their Salvation because they "fell away"� for a period of time and then when they recognized their sin and repented that Christ would then turn His back and reject their plea for forgiveness. This is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible is always willing to forgive, redeem, and restore. If this were not the case, then all of us would be going to hell.
A great tragedy occurs when one is lax in selection of an information source. When one does not adequately "vet" a source, he is not wise to trust it - especially with his soul! In this case a "translation" was not effectively faithful to the integrity of the text of the Greek. In Heb. 6:4-6 the Greek verbs photisthentas, geusamenous, and genethentas, being aorist, are rightly rendered in the past tense : "who were enlightened," "have tasted," and "were made partakers." Wherefore parapesontas, being aorist, ought to have also been rendered in past tense, "have fallen away." Some translators followed Beza, [similarly Calvin, Owen, Tait], who, with no authority from ancient manuscripts, INSERTED into his version the word "si" (if), to give HIS rendering as "if they shall away," so as to appear to not contradict the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. He CHANGED it, to make it BECOME hypothetical. That was his agenda. A correct rendering of this passage may be found in the New American Standard Bible, thusly: "For in the case of those who have been once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame." People may have been once enlightened (by the light of Christ) and have "tasted of the heavenly gift" (the Christian life) and be said "to have eternal life." This is by metonymy. 1John 5:12b "...he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." When one let's go of the Son, he is then cast off as a branch, and withers. John 15:1-5 That eternal life "is in His Son." 1John 5:11 When one leaves the Son, he leaves the life. How? Often it is by just a little bit at a time. The conscience becomes increasingly less sensitive, more hardened, like fingertips of one who plays violin, or guitar: they become calloused. The list of incompleted things of Christian life gets longer and longer. At what point has a Christian let go of the Son? The Son can answer that; I can not. The break-point for that is somewhere I do not wish to learn first-hand. A Christian who has "tasted the good word of God" has experienced it sustained; it is the food of the soul. One who has tasted "the powers of the world to come" has seen that the Spirit reveals and supports the truth, and carries forth the work of redemption to it's full and perfect consummation. So this covers from the first elements of piety through it's highest; it describes the successive steps by which a true Christian advances to the highest stage of Christian experience. One who has fallen away from such a level has hardened his own heart. He has known first and later rejected all that God offered. God already gave His very best, to create opportunity of salvation, available to every human who submits to God's plan. That was and is the only solution possible for mankind to be saved from sins eternally. Whether we obey and receive that reward is left up to us - we must participate. The Christian life is not a "spectator sport." Be like the Bereans: when you are told something religiously, check it by God's Bible for whether it is true - 100 percent! Be very cautious about your translation/version. Remember, Jesus said, "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." That continues to be a CONDITIONAL statement. "A few" will be faithful until death; the many will not. One must become faithful, before one can possibly remain so. Matt. 7: 13-14 "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." Don't use popularity to make a decision. Be cautious, be vigilant; the results are ETERNAL!
Are we nothing but mindless robots? Puppets, with an omnipotent Puppeteer pulling all the strings -- with no mind of our own, and absolutely no power of choice? Was Joshua out of his mind when he told the Children of Israel, "Choose you this day whom you will serve... As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" -- if they had no choice in the matter? Even the angels in heaven possess personal volition. Some of them chose to rebel against God and were cast out. If God MAKES Christians faithful and obedient to the end, why all the biblical instructions to believers to keep on trusting, believing, obeying, and to keep on the straight and narrow? Why the warnings against falling away, if no such possibility exists? Why the exhortation to "be faithful to the end"? Revelation talks about the need to be overcomers, and pronounces everlasting torment for those who do not endure to the end. Why? Verses like "no one can pluck them out of my hand" need to be taken in the context of Scripture's general theme: Those who come to Christ will never be cast out. No demon or devil has the power to yank them out of God's hand. But the believer still has the right to jump ship -- and God protects that right. We are to love God. Our continuing love is voluntary -- never forced upon us. Forced love is not love at all -- it is bondage! We come to Jesus because we want to. We stay with Jesus because we want to. At no time does He FORCE us to stay with Him. "IF you [continue to] abide in Me, and My words [continue to] abide in you, you may ask what you will, and it shall be done for you." (The Greek form of the verb "abide" implies a continuing action.) We must continue to respond to God's enabling grace. Saving faith is a continuing, moment-by-moment reliance in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. The grace of God is able to KEEP us from falling -- if we cooperate. Some teach that "once a believer, always a believer" means that a born-again Christian can do nothing to lose his salvation. Even if he unrepentantly and continually lies, steals, cheats on his wife, or rapes and murders innocent victims, he is still bound for heaven. His salvation is absolutely secure. And they quote gobs of verses to undergird their teachings. But Paul has an answer that puts those arguments to rest: "Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like are acts of the sinful nature and those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21). So a born-again believer who jumps off the wagon and persists in sowing his wild oats is deceiving himself (sometimes with the help of ministers), and making "grace" a license for sin. "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8). This passage allows for NO exceptions to one who has had a born-again experience, or has lived a Christian life for twenty years, or who is a preacher or an elder. If you continue to live in sin, there's no chance you'll make the flight. "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).
My understanding is that it would be impossible for a true believer to fall away as it would say that Jesus finished work on the cross was not good enough, and it would be saying that His blood sacrifice for our sin debt was only temporary. No true believer is going to reject the only one who saves us. Then I also belleve that it is Jesus that keeps us saved. There is no power on earth or heaven that can take us away from the power of God to keep us saved. If my salvation depended on me to keep myself saved, I might as well give up right now. But thank God His grace is sufficient for all my sin. So what would I have to do to lose my salvation? Can I be unborn again? Since I became a child of God, can I lose my Sonship? Why would God chasten us when we go off and live in sin if we were not His to begin with? Would God cast away His own children? Is not the saving power of God sufficient to keep us saved? Is His grace no longer sufficient for all my sin? Where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. This is not to say that if you go off into sin and stay there that God may take your life, but your spirit will still be saved in the day of the Lord. So what do you have to do to lose your salvation? If you can save yourself then you can also lose your salvation. When Jesus saves us we are His forever. Keeping your self from sin will not save you. Doing good works cannot save you. Obeying all the commandments cannot save you. Only the finished work of Jesus on the cross can save us and it is by faith we are saved by believing in that finished work. I can only boast in the cross. Any one that preaches another gospel Paul said should be accursed. All sin has a penalty. But unbelief is a sin that will keep us from the saving power of God to save us. Jesus is the only one that lived a sinless life and then gave us his perfect righteousness as a free gift the moment we first believed. We are not made perfect by the flesh but by the sinnless life of Jesus to save us as He is he lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Now we should love him and do what He says because of what He has done for us on the cross to save us. Should we sin against the Love of God because we are no longer under the curse of the law but under grace? God forbid that we should not love Him in return for what He has done for us. Jesus left us with two commandments. To love God and others as ourselves. Those things won't save us but show that we are saved. But Jesus paid our sin debt in full so we could love Him without the law.
Hebrews 6:4-8: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. What do we understand from these verses: 1. If someone falls away from believing in God's message given through the lord Jesus, in other words has been enlightened, and has tasted the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit, and given the good revelation of God and tasted the powers of the coming new age that it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. 2. In falling away that person has crucified to themselves the son of God again, and put him to an open shame. 3. The end result is to be burned up in the lake of fire, destroyed. This is a dire warning for those who might contemplate going back to this world and rejecting the one whom God has sent. Such a one would obviously have no meaningful contact with anyone who was sincerely following the lord Jesus. That being said, this does not exclude what the lord Jesus can do! Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? We see here that there were 100 sheep in the flock, but one wanders away in the wilderness and is lost, so the shepherd goes after the one who has become lost until he finds it. Notice the lost sheep is lost in the wilderness which if we look at the parable an apply it to the present time, the wilderness that we walk through is this world. If one sheep who is of the flock, cared for by the lord Jesus, our shepherd; wanders of into the wilderness and becomes lost, i.e. has fallen way, gone back out into the world and become a part of it, which believers are not a part of, will not the lord Jesus as shepherd seek to find such a one and bring him/her back to be a part of the flock. Ask yourselves this question: how many times has Jesus brought you back to walk on the narrow path that leads to life in the coming new age when you have wandered away from it? How many times? I know for myself I can't count the many times he has done so! Again:Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents. Does this not include a sinning sheep who has wandered off and the lord Jesus has brought back carrying him on his shoulder, because it is too weak to walk on its own? The parable of the prodigal son is a prime example of one who has rejected his father, taken his inheritance - his taste of the things to come - and even rejected the country he grew up in, was a part of and gone into the wilderness so to speak. Notice what the father does when he sees him returning, he runs to him with open arms. He was looking for him to return, he didn't give up hope that his son would return. Our God will never give up hope as far as we are concerned, even if we come to the point of rejecting his beloved son, because he gave His son Jesus to save those who are lost. It is all between the lord Jesus and the one who has fallen away. In other words it is not possible for any follower of Jesus to renew such a one to repent and come back, only the lord Jesus can bring that one back. Lu 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. God is love!
I do not believe you can lose your salvation. It's a seal set for eternity. The difference is whether you live the abundant life following Christ. Or do you drag through on the edge of self will? Either way Jesus loves you! He died for you while you were in your sin and if you fall away? He says He'll forgive you 70x7, my friends! God is love! And His love is unconditional (under one condition :) you MUST believe! We can have Salvation but still be to weak to fight our demons. So pray for one another and by no means tell one another that God is not a God of second chances :) I am living proof :) JJJ-Jesus!
Hebrews 6:4-6 Applies to all believers today that are prone to fall away from their faith by virtue of their acceptance, or simply condoning the sins of the world. In dissecting Hebrews 6:4-6, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (they knew and abhorred what was sinful)., and have tasted the heavenly gift (the gift of forgiveness), and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit (having experienced the indwelling of Christ in us), and have tasted (brief experience) the good word of God and the powers of the age to come (God's words have power to strengthen believers & to renew the spirit in us), if we fall away (through apostasy), (God is saying that it is impossible) to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame." This is a stern warning today from God to believers of Jesus, who are under God's grace. Although God's grace is eternal, man has a responsibility to accept or reject God's grace. During our lengthily experience of the love of God, we live day to day on His grace. However, through bullying, social pressures, trying to be politically correct, and our lack of understanding and teaching the words of God, if we do not abide in the light which is our service to Jesus Christ, we too can fall from God's grace, especially if our living and teaching is false. Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.… We must remember that salvation is liken to a journey... Once one has reached his journey end which is his salvation, his/her name is written into the book of life, Philippians 4: 3 reads, Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, "whose names are in the book of life". To fully understand salvation one must fully understand God's grace, Judas Iscariot was a good example of a saved man who was under God's grace, however, even though his act against God was predestined, Judas still had a choice, and he chose to betray Jesus for something that had no spiritual value, and thereby he fell from God's grace.
If ever a believer turned their back on Christ, Peter did so when he denied knowing Christ...and then Christ died. Peter immediately went back to his old way of life: fishing. He wasn't repentant...he didn't change his ways... he went back to what he'd known before walking with Christ. Peter, who vehemently claimed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" fell away like almost no one else has fallen away! And guess Who came looking for him as soon as possible? The God Who gives us salvation.based on His love...not on our actions. Scripture is best studied by comparing it to other Scripture. Peter fell away...and God did not leave him alone. Christ appeared and offered the way of return...and the rest is history. Peter's return to what he had tasted and known and fallen away from opened the door for all to know that their salvation is ETERNAL. Every story in the Old Testament is the story of a man "after God's heart"...a man known "as a friend of God"...a man who fell away. Every story shows that it is not the "falling away" that determines our salvation. The "falling away" does affect our reward. When we're "away" we're unable to earn jewels and crowns that we will place in love at the Savior's feet as an act of worship. But we will still bow at His feet and love and worship Him if we are His. We are His because of what He has done and in spite of what we have done! Salvation is eternal...He loves us and knows us too well to put our salvation in our hands!
"Lose your salvation" is a fuzzy phrase, so the answer (yes or no) will depend on how you define that term. Imagine you have signed a contract. In particular, you have signed your name onto the New Covenant (aka the New Testament) - a legal document in which Christ fulfills all terms and obligations. The reward for this agreement, to be paid in the future, is eternal life. For signing this contract, you received a down payment of your future inheritance - the Holy Spirit. Nothing can make you "lose" this contract - no earthly lawyer, no hurricane, no demonic forces, etc. However, can you cancel your agreement? Can you remove your name and return the spirit? It is this question that Heb 6:4-6, Heb 10:19-30, and other passages address. Heb 6:1-6 This passage is speaking to Christians seeking to grow into maturity (Heb 6:1-3). It specifically sets up that this lesson is moving past the basic teachings of Christianity. It is the author's "advanced class" Bible study - he is not addressing unbelievers or even new believers, but people who *should* have a good handle on their Christian faith by now (yet are still struggling with the basics). In fact, they are the people of Heb 6:4 - they have seen the light (II Cor 4:6), they have ate of the heavenly gift (John 6:33), they have shared in the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13, II Peter 1:4, Eph 3:6, Heb 3:14, Col 1:12, Phil 1:7, Eph 4:4, etc), who have tasted the goodness of the word of God (Psalm 38:4) and shared in spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4), and have repented (Acts 2:38). Paul's stern warning is that there is no "do over" if one repents and is baptized in Christ, but then later returns to slavery to sin [Heb 4:6 ' parapipto' to fall from close beside or desert]. One can't have Christ "re-cover" their sins a second time, since Christ only died once. (Num 20:6-13). Just as God chided Moses for dishonoring Him in the sight of Israel by striking the rock twice (implying through his actions that Christ needed to die twice), so Paul warns the Christians that asking Christ to die twice would dishonor Christ in the sight of man. As such, going back to the contract metaphor, if we rip up our own contract and reject its seal (the Holy Spirit), how can we expect to receive our inheritance when the time of the contract is up (Christ's return)? Does God give partial credit? [No, He asks us to continually abide, continually believe, etc. Those who do not remain, but rather leave, are thrown out and burned]. Can we ask Christ to sign a new-new covenant with us, because we tore up the first one? Can we ask Christ to die again to re-cover our sins because His first death 'wasn't enough'? Fortunately, defecting from Christ is very different than our continual struggle with sin, doubt, selfishness, rebelliousness, etc. (Rom 7:7-25 vs.) The church needs to come around believers who are struggling to help them, or in extreme cases hand them over to satan to be tested as to whether or not their faith will endure. (Jude 1:22, I Tim 1:18-20, Luke 15:11-31) We rarely know if someone has apostatized vs. Just faltering through a trial. From God's perspective, He "never knew" those who believe for a time then fall away. (Mark 4:19, Matt 21:15-23) Rather, He blots their name from the book of life as if they were never there. (Rev 3:5) From man's perspective, we can indeed believe for a time and be delivered from sin - but if we do not remain, abide, continue, endure, etc, and give up the Holy Spirit...then we cannot expect to receive salvation from the second death and to receive eternal life when Christ comes in His glory. (John 15:1-8, II Peter 1:3-11, 1 John 5:1-5, etc) Belief is continuous!
John 6:65-67 is the direct proof that salvation is completely by grace, God's calling, God's convicting, God's converting, God's changing, God's completing. It is all by God's grace, again if one is born again, they are in God's family. He protects, He provides, and He preserves. God saves you and keeps you saved - He completes what He starts.
Yes we can lose our salvation, by 'falling away', or turning away from God. God always says as long has you keep my commandments I will keep you. There is no biblical evidence of 'once saved always saved' in order to stay saved we must keep his commandments. And to 'have tasted the good word of God' first we must understand what the good word is. John 1:1,14 'In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God... And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory as the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and mercy.' We know Jesus is the only begotten of the father, but here in the gospel of John jesus is referred to as 'the word.' So how does one taste of him by being filled with his spirit? The only way to receive his spirit is found in Acts 2:1-13,38 which took place on the day of Pentecost when the promise of the Father was given as Jesus had commanded them to do (Acts 1:4). Once we have received the Holy Ghost, which is His spirit that dwells in us, it will guide us and lead us in all truths (John 16:13). So if we turn from His truths and his ways then we fall away from and if we have received the Holy Ghost then we have tasted the good word, for it's the spirit of God that dwells in us. But there is still good news, we can find our way back to him, for the blood of Jesus was shed for the forgiveness of all sins, so if you do happen to backslide there is still hope to come back to Jesus.
As numerous as there are verses of scripture to support the once saved always saved theory, so also are they numerous scriptures also to support the possibility of a believer losing his salvation. A believer who tempers with the word of God by removing or adding to it will loose his right to the tree of life. Rev 22:19. Eternal life is only for those who remain faithful to the end. Rev 2:10. Only those believers who obey to the end will be given authority to rule over the nations. Rev 2:25 It is only believers who are victorious that their names will not be erased from the book of life. Rev 3:5. " All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their name from the book of life...."This is one of the few verses of scripture that clearly states that it is possible for the name of a saved believer to be erased from the book of life. All the righteous acts of a saved saint will be forgotten if he sins and does not repent. Ezekiel 18: 24. The righteous behavior of a righteous person will not save him if he sins. Ezekiel 33: 12 The saved saint who goes back to his vomit and does not retrace his steps. 2Pt. 2:20-22. Only those who endure to the end will be saved. Mt 10:22. The undisciplined believer, 1Cor. 9:27
Try this version (The Message Bible) (Heb 6:4) Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, (Heb 6:5) once they've personally experienced the sheer goodness of God's Word and the powers breaking in on us-- (Heb 6:6) if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can't start over as if nothing happened. That's impossible. Why, they've re-crucified Jesus! They've repudiated him in public! Read it conjunction with this one: Heb 10:26 If we give up and turn our backs on all we've learned, all we've been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ's sacrifice Heb 10:27 and are left on our own to face the Judgment--and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! The summary in view is that once we have been saved, we need to work even harder to stay saved. We can fall away even after we have been reborn. Of course the mercy of God is such that even if you have been lost twice over you can still be saved. Paul is saying that we should not take our salvation likely. We can lose it and that will be our fault. When return like the prodigal son, God will still embrace you, he will run to meet you, give you knew garments, a ring and throw a big feast. There will be celebrations in heaven. Of course you cannot return as if nothing happened, there has to be public confession of sin if the falling away was public, even a rebaptism to show to all that indeed I was lost now I am found again.
No, Hebrews 6:4-6 is not about BELIEVERS losing their salvation, our eternal security made possible by nothing we've done or failed to do. Those scriptures were written to BELIEVERS to encourage them to be sure to mature in the faith and grow in their devotion to the Lord. The warning to not "fall away" is similar to being told to "stay in school," don't drop out. If you drop out of school you don't get to go all the way back to pre-k, you're stuck right where you are. So the logical thing to do is to continue your education. That's what the writer is encouraging, growth. When these scriptures are read in context it is evident what the writer is talking about. When you are born again you are a new creature 2 Cor 5:17. To believe that you can lose your new life is to believe something similar to what Nicodemus described, which is impossible John 3.
The best way to interpret scriptures, is rightly dividing God's word, and not "ADDING" our opinions, nor going by our "Feelings". Let God's word speak for itself. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Hebrews 6:4-6 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, Enlightened: phōtizō; to enlighten, spiritually, imbue with saving knowledge to instruct, to inform, teach, to give understanding to. "Tasted of heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost"' Doe's this verse liken to unbelievers? We then "ADD" to God's word by saying this is talking about non-believers (REV 22:18-19) Do unbelievers partake of the Holy Ghost? They must believe "FIRST"....... Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,... Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Note: They obviously had some kind of faith by hearing the word of God' Heb 6:6 "If they shall fall away," Fall away: parapiptō, to deviate from the right path, turn aside, wander to error, to fall away (from the true faith): from worship of Jehovah. To apostatize:—fall away. 1 Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Thessalonians 2:3 - Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Hebrews 6:6 " to renew them again unto repentance;" 2 Peter 2:20-22 - For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21) It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22)Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”… What happened to Balaam of Peor? He was one of God's prophets, not an unbeliever. Jude 1:11 Woe to them! They have traveled the path of Cain; they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam; they have perished in Korah's rebellion. Note: Did he go to heaven after this ordeal? Or is he "once saved always saved", and cannot lose your salvation no matter what? Matthew 5:18-20 18) For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19) So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20) For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.… Note: Teaching "once saved always saved" doctrine is very dangerous... Malachi 2:8 "But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi," says the LORD of hosts. So, can one lose his salvation? Matthew 7:21-23 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
It seems that this dilemma of whether one can be truly born again then give up that birth by simply stating or acting in a particular way never ceases. I believe this central question comes down to one distinct fact: Are you in God's family by truly being born from above and made completely new, or are you just with God's family but not really His child? Look at Peter and Judas Iscariot. They are the two best examples of one truly being in Gods family. Peter, whose spirit was willing, but in the flesh weak (Mark 14:38 and Matthew 16:5-18) and Judas, who was always The Son of PERDITION (John 17:1-12), even though he was with Jesus and the disciples and participated in family things. Being with God's family and even doing family activities doesn't mean you were ever truly God's child.
Scripture is very clear about the short comings of the original twelve disciples, Peter as well as the other eleven disciples at various times did deny Christ, Judas was the only one that was not repentant. True repentance came after Pentecost when Jesus said to His disciples; "If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." Jesus spoke of a certain necessity and spiritual benefit of His leaving in order for the Holy Spirit to come. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you" (Acts 1:8, KJV). Two remarkable things happened to the disciples after Jesus departed. The first is that they "returned to Jerusalem with great joy" (Luke 24:52). They were not despondent over the departure of Jesus. Obviously, the twelve including Peter repented. When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). Without repentance, there is no remission of sins; we are still under His wrath. Peter further said, "Repent... and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). We cannot be "converted" unless we repent. God Himself "commands all men everywhere & without exceptions to repent" (Acts 17:30). Peter said a similar thing at Pentecost: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you" (Acts 2:38). In terms of falling away", Peter would have departed from the teachings of Christ, however, Peter's temporary departure was due to an understandable fear of suffering and death. It appears that "salvation" and "falling away" are two different subjects. Salvation is liken unto a journey and this journey's end can only be determined by God. Philippians 4:3 "And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life. "Falling away" is what is addressed in John 6:65-67 "Then Jesus said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him. 66 "From that time on, many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. 67 "So Jesus asked the Twelve, Do you want to leave too?
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