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It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen 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. (Hebrews 6:4-6, NIV)

This could well apply to me. Is there any way back from this, it's like having some knowledge and experience of the spirit world but rejecting the actual call to Christ...

You become a spiritual dwarf as Billy Graham once said - in general.

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possible duplicate christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9834/… –  Bye Mar 16 at 19:31
    
This sounds like a pastoral advice type of question and is much too general to be answered constructively here, since differing denominations and pastors have different views of the meaning of these verses. –  Confutus Mar 17 at 4:44
    
Welcome to the site! It's very difficult to see what you're asking here, and I'm wondering if you maybe need just a little guidance on how to use this site; It's a bit different than discussion forums you may be familiar with. As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? –  deleteMe Mar 28 at 5:49

3 Answers 3

Is there any way back from the situation described in Hebrews 6:4-6?

As I understand the question, you are asking if these verses mean that a Christian who "falls away" cannot be restored.

In context, chapter six begins with the description of moving away from basic Christian teachings to those that are more advanced. Right away we are presented with some interesting statements.

Hebrews 6:4-6 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.

It is impossible If they fall away to renew them again

There are two ways these verses can be viewed.

  1. A warning as to the precarious position of the Christian. That the Christian backslider has no hope because there is no way he can be restored to faith.

  2. A promise that the Christian is secure. That it is impossible for a Christian to lose his faith because to be restored would require an additional sacrifice from Jesus. The "falling away" here would not be fleshly sin but a repudiation of Jesus and the salvation that was received.

These verses then lead into a comparison of "good earth" and "bad earth". The good earth is cultivated and brings forth good and useful plants. The bad earth brings for weeds and briars.

The writer of Hebrews commends his readers for their good work in the faith comparing them to the "good earth". He exhorts them to continue in their work and cautions them against laziness.

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The words "full assurance of hope" I see as supporting the view that Christians cannot be lost. I understand that this "Once Saved, Always Saved" view is frequently debated. However, the support I see for it is in the "assurance" the writer expresses for his readers.

Another way to think of the earlier verses would be, "It is impossible for a Christian to become "unsaved". Because if he did, he would need a second death of Jesus to saved him again.

Many Christians feel shame and guilt over their sins and the persistence in the flesh of many failures. This is not the same as losing faith. Only God can see into the heart and that in which a person truly trusts (faith). When we see our sin and failure in truth, we are brought to humility. It is from this point that we can begin to draw nearer to Jesus.

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You are misunderstanding the passage, so lets break it down so we can better understand it.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version.

Hebrews 6:4 through 6

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.

before we can break this down we have to go back to the verses before this:

Hebrews 6:1 and 2

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

This is important because we are getting away from basic salvation and into an entirely different phase of Christian life.

Verses 4 through 6 are now talking about living the Christian life.

What Paul is saying here is what Jesus was referring to when he said:

Matthew 7:21 through 23

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

So back to Hebrews 6:4 through 6;

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,

This is a description of having encountered the Holy Ghost, been saved, and have enjoyed the blessings of God knowing that they came from God.

If they shall fall away,

This seems to be where you have your misunderstanding: "to fall away" is not just missing something about being saved it is the opposite of that. In falling away you must take into consideration once enlightened which means you have fully realized your salvation and proclaimed Jesus as your savior, but then later deny that Jesus gives salvation

to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Since Jesus has already saved you where is another sacrifice to salvation again?

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Two things to clarify.

The desire to seek God is from God

The desire to repent is from God

If you experience any of these desires it means that God is still calling you.

Hebrews 6:4-6 refers to those who have had a much greater revelation of God's character, yet still managed to act repeatedly against the Holy Spirit abiding in their heart and eventually deny God. This is what is referred to as sin against the Holy Spirit.

In such a case, the person would have hardened his heart so much that no more revelation of God's love would awaken him.

In such a case, God leaves him alone, there would be absolutely not desire to repent.

For some, there would an eventual fear of the consequence of sin, but not a real desire for God, such as in the case of Judas before he hanged himself.

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