Summary: Who is this warning passage to and how can I test my own salvation?
Testing the Reality of our Salvation
Have you ever met anyone that said one thing, and yet their actions spoke something different than what they said?
Perhaps you have had someone tell you they love you, but their actions do not speak love to you. They say they love you, but their actions show that they are really only loving themselves.
What they say and how they act do not line up.
Well today, we are going to be continuing on in the passage of Scripture that we started last week in Hebrews 6
and see that the author is warning some of the people in the church he is writing to, that what they say with their mouths and the reality of their actions, do not seem to be lining up, and that is a major problem because the author is making the point that true salvation is going to be shown through their persevering living.
As we prepare to jump into the text, let me remind you about what the author said last week about the Arrested Spiritual development that some of them were experiencing.
He was saying that some of them had
Ears that Don’t Hear the Word
Mouths that Don’t Speak the Word
Stomachs that Don’t digest the Word
And that those were signs of Arrested development in their lives.
Then he talked about Spiritual Milk and Spiritual Meat, with the meat being righteous living. He goes on from there today to warn some of the readers that faking Christianity can be truly hazardous when you have seen the reality of Christianity for yourself.
We are going to be focusing on Hebrews 6:4-20, but I want us to have the context of these verses in our minds as we look at what they say, so we will start in verse 1.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God,2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] 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. 7 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. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9 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.10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”[d] 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
OK, the verses in the first part of this passage of Scripture have been some of the most challenging for Christians throughout the centuries to interpret because just taken by themselves, they can seem to say that if you are a Christian and you turn away from Christ, you lose your salvation and there is no hope of you ever being saved again.