As a Bible literalist I take this one literally.
When you don't believe that your salvation can be taken, then this means nothing, because you don't fear God.
Ezekiel 33:12 (NIV)
“Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is
righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for
nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former
wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins
will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’
Yes this is old testament but God is unchanging and this is still true in the new testament.
Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV)
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the
knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a
fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume
the enemies of God.
So understand that a true Christian is fighting against their flesh every day. Their flesh continues to want to sin but the spirit wars against it in order that you may not trample the precious blood of Jesus.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit
what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other,
so that you are not to do whatever you want.
During this war inside of you, you can literally be torn in a ball on the ground crying out to God, that He may come and save you from your flesh. This war is going on constantly and is difficult to persevere through.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point
of shedding your blood.
And He's right, I have not resisted to this point. But Jesus tells us that if you cannot control yourself, then do whatever is possible in order to prevent yourself from sinning.
This is why I see this verse as a literal verse.
But when people do not fear God and they do not know that they need to repent of their sin, then this verse means nothing to them. Because they are not at battle with their flesh.