The Danger of Apostasy. 6:4-20
True believers can’t lose their salvation:6:1-3.
Although the author warns the hearers about the danger of turning away from Christ, he is confident of their salvation. Not based on their commitment but based on the character of God (6:10). He knows that God is just, and will not forget their diligence, love and service they have shown towards His name ministering the saints. The interpretation of this warning passage is widely disputed among believers. Here the author deals the problem of spiritual infancy and the danger of apostasy. This warning is to be taken in context with other similar warning passages in this epistle. Who are these people? There are three views about them. The first view is that they are genuine believers who have began as sincere followers of Christ bur fell away and lost their salvation. But the Bible clearly teaches that it is impossible for true believers to lose their salvation (John 5:24;10:28, 29; Phil 1:6; Rom 8:35-39). The second view is that it is the description of genuine believers who are being confronted with a hypothetical situation (6:6). Salvation is an eternal gift from God and it is an eternal salvation (Jonah 2:9). The third view is that these are people who are influenced by the gospel but never born again. Only the Lord knows His own people (2 Tim 2:9). They are set apart people and will not act like sinners. They are kept by the power of God through faith for the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet 1:5).
Are you a professing Christian? 6:4-8.
There are many professing Christians in the church. They show every sign of being a Christians but never experienced the life transforming work of Christ. A classic example is Judas Iscariot. Like the seeds fell by the way side, upon the stony places and among thorns, they never received Christ as their Lord and Savior (Matt 13:4-7). They were close to salvation but fall short of salvation because of unbelief. They may associate with true believers but they are not real believers (1 John 2:19). There is no such thing as one being saved, then become unsaved, and then saved again. If they fall away, they cannot be renewed again to repentance (6:6). This warning is here to produce caution among believers who remain in their spiritual infancy. In Hebrews 6:4-6, five things are mentioned about these apostates. "They were once enlightened and exposed to the gospel but never believed. They tasted the heavenly gift but never benefited from it in personal experience. They shared in the Holy Spirit and experienced the influence of the Spirit but never made a commitment to Christ. They tasted the good word of God and tasted the powers of the world to come but never believed. If they fall away, they can't be renewed again to repentance". They nail the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting Him and holding Him in public shame. Christ died once for our sins and it is not to be repeated (9:28). Here we see three important words that represent three different group of people. “We” in verses 3 and 9, this refers to the author and the Hebrew Christians. “You” in verse 9 which refers to believers and “those and they,” in verses 4 and 6 which refer to someone other than the first two groups. Th author is confident that those he addresses will not fall away (6:9). Because they persevere in their faith and diligent in love and good work (6:10). A failure to persevere proves that a person's faith was never real. May God grant us grace to persevere in faith and inherit the promises of God. (Phil 2:13).
Enlightened does not mean saved. 6:9-12. .
They were enlightened people. They had the knowledge of truth concerning Jesus Christ. They were instructed about Christ. Their knowledge was intellectual and appealing to them. Many people saw His light but chose to live in darkness (John 3:19; 2:23-25). They tasted the heavenly gift. The heavenly gift is the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel (John 3:16; 2 Cor 9:15). We may taste food but never benefited from it. Children of Israel tasted the heavenly gift of manna in the wilderness but God was not pleased with them because of their unbelief (1 Cor 10:2-5). Jesus fed 5000 people but many of them did not follow Him (John 6:66). The evidence of salvation is the transformation of life.
They were Partakers of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught and did miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit. People were healed and convicted of their sins but never believed in Christ. They were benefited physically from all these miracles. But they sinned against the Holy Spirit (John 12:37). They heard Christ and tasted the good word of God. But it did not benefit them because of their unbelief (Heb 4:2; John 8:48, 59). They performed miracles but were not saved (Matt 7:22, 23). They tasted the powers of the world to come. Jesus taught them about heaven, the coming Kingdom and the doom of Satan. But many of them did not believe. They are like ground that receives rain but bring forth weeds and thorns. What a tragedy to reject Christ after hearing the gospel for years! Apostates are people who make profession of being Christians but live in open, willful and settled defiance to Christ. It is impossible to renew them again to repentance because Christ can't be crucified again and again.
The author hopes better things of true believers 6:13-20.
They are the beloved ones. The author is persuaded better things of them (6:9). This is not based on their commitment but the unchanging character of God. “For God is not unjust to forget your labor of love toward His name” (6:10). They ministered to the needs of others which is a mark of their love for God (1 John 4:20, 21). The author exhorts believers to be diligent to follow the example of those who have received the promises through faith and patience. Here author uses Abraham as an example. Abraham patiently waited many years in faith to receive the promise (Gen 12:3) "In you all all the families of the earth will be blessed". This promised was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:16). His faith was in a God who makes impossible, possible. God not only gave promise but confirm them with oath (6:17). Christ is our sure and steadfast anchor of the soul that reaches heaven. He became our forerunner to lead many sons to glory. Christ has entered within the veil and He is our High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. He went to heaven "as our forerunner on our behalf". He bids us tp come to the throne room of God to receive mercy and to find grace to help in time of need (6:20). How precious tp have a Savior like Jesus! Dear friend, do you have this assurance and hope?