Summary: 2 of 4 on Hebrews (2nd part of study). This message focuses on the warning about not falling away from following God in Hebrews 6

A Severe Warning

It is impossible…

Hebrews 6:4a

We are continuing in our series on “Hebrews – Higher Standards – Less Sin… You may not have noticed but are logo is a take-off from the Meijers stores. They are pushing the idea of higher standards and lower prices!

We’re talking about a transformed life.

Today we address an issue is that is confusing and controversial – even among scholars.

Here is the problem – instead of taking scripture for what it says – we often we go into the word with a preconception of what we will find and shape the meaning to fit our ideas. Let’s not do that today. Let the word speak to your heart – for there is a great and severe warning presented to us.

Now, before we dive into the “meat” of this study we must understand one very important thing. This is not a matter of salvation. You can have differing views on this subject and still be saved!

There are certain matters that are essentials and non-negotiable. These are issues of salvation and they have to do with your relationship to Jesus as Savior and Lord.

If you are new to MCC I like to invite you to first come to a virtual tour around our house. After that we’ll encourage you to register for a four week class called “The Family of God”. This class will give you a good understanding of where you stand with God and how you can be a part of his family here at MCC.

The next tour and class will start after Easter – which is only four weeks away. If you are interested you can register online at our website.

This issue is one of great importance yet there is a division of opinion. Let’s dissect the text, the teaching and the controversy so we can clear up the confusion.

Two Extremes: Indulgences vs. Election

John Tetzel – Sale of Indulgences

Back in the early 1500’s the Roman Catholic church was practicing the sale of indulgences, which in its’ very basic form said that you could earn salvation by what you gave to the church. The Bishop Dominic John Tetzel was predominant in this doctrine. Here’s how it worked. If you were being tempted and thought that you probably could not (or want to) defeat that temptation you could buy from the church an indulgence which would forgive you of the sin BEFORE you committed it! Isn’t that great? I think we should bring that back don’t you? Just think.. If we still had that there would be no temptation that I would have to resist. In fact St. Peters Cathedral in Rome was primarily built on the sale of indulgences.

Two Extremes: Indulgences vs. Election

Martin Luther – 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany

Now, this practice aroused the spiritual indignation of one Martin Luther. He saw this, and rightly so, as a corruption of the Bible and on Oct. 31, 1517 nailed his 95 thesis on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany telling the church how wrong they were. He said that the Bible taught that people are saved by placing their faith in Jesus, not buying or earning their salvation by some work. Luther started the Reformation which lead to Protestantism.

Two Extremes: Indulgences vs. Election

John Calvin – Doctrine of the Elect

Now, that’s important because a contemporary of Luther was a man by the name of John Calvin. Calvin took Luther’s thesis’ and enlarged upon them. Calvin said, “not only are we saved by faith - not being able to earn it with money or good deeds - but those that are saved are chosen to be saved by God and have no choice in the matter.

In it’s very basic form Calvin said that God chooses some people to be saved and some to be damned. Not only is there no way to earn salvation but you don’t even choose salvation, you are chosen. There is no free will. Calvin’s theology is called predestination. I’ve placed the 5 tenants of Calvin’s theology on your outline. It goes by the acronym of T.U.L.I.P. I don’t want to spend an enormous amount of time on it but as you’ll see it’s got a lot to do with our study. According to Calvin.


T = Total depravity of man

All of us are not only born with the nature or tendency to sin but with the guilt of sin. We inherit all the sin of every person before us. We are totally depraved at birth.

U = Unconditional election

God does not base His election on anything man does.. No choice.. No merit. He chooses who He wills as He wills.

L = Limited atonement

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