Please do not fall away!
I had a dear brother in Christ who fell back into sin and decided to embrace dispensationalism because he struggled with Hebrews chapters 6 and 10. I tried to reason with him but he had to separate himself from these scriptures applying to him because he was himself desiring to live in sin once again. He was once a bold proclaimer of the truth publically calling for people to repent but now he will not do so because he will not repent himself. He is now depending on the grace of God to cover him in his sin. This friend actually understood what the writer of Hebrews was saying so he had to find a way to make that apply to anyone else but himself because if he didn’t then he knew he would be in trouble. He found the means to do this through dispensationalism and is now living in greasy grace without the need to repent of sin.
Does Hebrews 6:4-6 talk about people who were never saved? Actually it does not say that at all.
The actual context says that the people being referenced here were previously “enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost”. These folks were renewed (born again) through repentance (a clear and mandatory condition of salvation). These folks had chosen to fall away and they should know better. Most actually do know better but like my friend they find “work-arounds” or grey areas.
In God’s economy there are no work-arounds or grey areas, there is God’s way or the other way (sin -> hell).
The context is very clear in this as Hebrews 6:4-6 states:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 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.” Hebrews 6:4-6
When I said “they had chosen to fall away” that is truly the context of what the writer of Hebrews is saying: “they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh”. They are doing this to “themselves”, they are choosing to do this and God is saying that it does not work this way. Chapter 10 agrees with this as you will (should) see later.
Taking this out of context by insisting on saying these are people who were not saved is what I refer to as “greasy grace”. The writer of Hebrews is saying that that there are those who were saved but then have chosen to go back into sin and thus relying on the crucifying of the Saviour over and over again assuming that they are “covered” by His grace in the process. But God is saying, that is not how it works.
The same teachers today who teach this new doctrine also teach that backsliders are saved. I challenge you to do a study on backsliding and see what God says the condition of a backslider is. You will find the backslider is not in a good place at all as they are separated from Him. This is not a “strained but maintained” relationship as so many try to insist but a willful divorce, if you will, on the part of the sinner, not God. The sinner, even if they have been righteous (saved or right standing with God) previously and then chose to go back into their iniquity they will die in their sins as Ezekiel said in both chapters 3 and 33 of his book. In essence we see the agreement we would expect to see between the writers of Hebrews, Ezekiel and the rest of scriptures.
This is when the narrow way begins to make more sense and why the old paths are the ones we must stay on. We must walk in the light and remain under His authority and if we slip we must repent and not take his grace for granted.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2
Earlier in Hebrews the writer warns the believer of departing from the living God. He then builds on that throughout his letter. Keep in mind that one cannot depart from God if they were not with God. This is also not saying that God or anyone or anything else is removing the sinner from God but it is the sinner himself departing from the living God.
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Hebrews 3:12
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrew 10:26-27
So in context, in chapter 6 we see the saint choosing to go back to being a sinner while attempting to take advantage of what he perceives to be continued salvation despite his willful sin. Then in chapter 10 the writer is saying that these folks who do this have essentially chosen their path and there is no going back if they remain on that path.
Once more from another book to drive home the actual context here.
One must realize what Peter said. A believer going to heaven is not going experience something worse in heaven than what they were destined for and experiencing prior to coming to Christ. Peter is talking about someone once saved but who has chosen to go back into their sin and thus become separated from God...This is in line with what the writer of Hebrews was talking about in chapters 6 and 10.
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. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2: 20-22
So from beginning to end the scriptures teaches us that it truly is a relationship with God. A two way relationship and not one way. He already did His part and when we choose to do our part then He provides His wisdom and power to help us along the way, so that we may endure unto the end (Matthew 24:13 and Mark 13:13). If we want to leave we can but the writer of Hebrews is urging us all that we don't depart. He is saying, “Please do not fall away!”