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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 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. ~He 6:4-9



The passage continues from the end of chapter 5 and verses 1-3 of chapter 6. In the previous paragraphs, the author points out to the Hebrew Christians that their spiritual lives were likened to those of infants, though they had spent a significant period of time in the Lord. They had come to a point of spiritual standstill, stagnant with fundamental doctrines when they should have moved on towards a more in-depth pursue of spiritual truths. (Please read: “Moving beyond the elementary teachings about Christ”)

The author suggests reasons for their lack of understanding towards spiritual matters; where a greater underlying problem lurks – that they were not saved to begin with. Being devoid of the life of Christ, it is expected that they would be unable to understand spiritual things. “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 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance,” these verses do not refer to saved Christians, for the very reason that it is impossible for saved Christians to “fall away” or to be “brought back to repentance.” All saved believers are once saved and eternally saved, therefore it is not possible for them to leave the faith or to lose their Salvation. Just as our confessions of repentance before the Lord were also a one-off-event, it need not and cannot be repeated.

If we were to recollect how Jesus died on the cross, we can further understand the passage above. The Lord in His lifetime, performed many miracles among the Israelites through healing, exorcising, and the miraculous feeding of thousands of people. The numerous miracles performed by the Lord were more than sufficient to authenticate Him as the Christ without any doubt. Through the many teachings of the Lord, He also made manifest the deep and unknown things of God such that even the rulers and teachers of the Law sought His advice. The Israelites of that time were an enlightened group, who have tasted the heavenly gift and the powers of the coming age. Having been bestowed with extraordinary grace by God, they were able to partake in the heavenly blessings when others could not, but what were their responses? Did they choose to receive the Lord’s salvation? No, they did not, and further went on to nail the Lord Jesus on the cross, openly declaring their rejection of Him.

The Hebrew Christians were followers of the Lord for many years, it is clear that they have similarly been enlightened to understand the truths concerning heaven and hell and personally experienced the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Should they after having tasted the heavenly gift, yet remained unmoved toward receiving the Lord’s salvation, it was likely that they would never ever do so in the future. They were likened to the Israelites who nailed Jesus to the cross, when God has bestowed upon them extraordinary grace for them to believe in Jesus as the Christ, they instead defiantly chose to go against their conscience and deny Him. This was obviously done, not out of ignorance but out of a rebellious heart. The Hebrew Christians despite having been in the Lord for many years should have clearly understood this Salvation, yet they did not receive the Lord even to that very day. It could no longer be counted to them as ignorance but of rebellion. Having known that Jesus was the Christ, they did not render unto Him the deserved honour and refused to receive Him as their Lord and Saviour – this was an outright demonstration to humiliate Him. What they have done were exactly what the Israelites did in their days. In spite of knowing that Jesus was the Son of God, they persisted in denying His deity and nailed Him to the cross subjecting Him to public disgrace. “Crucifying the Son of God all over again” means to once again deny Jesus as the Son of God; to once again deny Jesus as the Christ; to once again deny Jesus as the Saviour. “All over again” means “once more,” the Israelites had rejected the Lord once and now the Hebrew Christians are rejecting the Lord once again!