October 19, 2016

The Grotesque Reality of Apostasy

by Eric Davis

converse_sole_stomp_01_white_by_megakorean-d632g4wIt’s never something we want to talk about. But, with it happening more than any of us would like, we must. And with a handful of passages addressing the issue, we must all the more. All Scripture is profitable. That even includes the sections covering apostasy.

It’s a big enough deal that God addresses it. And the way in which he does so is telling:

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26-31).

Much could be said about these loving, sobering words. But it does the soul well to especially consider v. 29. “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God.” What a loving and faithful pastor to sit down and pen those soul-care words to the church then, and for us now.

Few images are more disturbing in all of Scripture: to commit apostasy is to trample “underfoot the Son of God” (Heb. 10:29). The Greek word translated, “trampled underfoot,” is not a gentle word. It communicates strong contempt and derision. Generally, the word can have the idea of, “despise,” and, “to treat with complete disdain” (Louw-Nida). More particularly, it refers to the physical act of repeatedly stomping on something with the foot, usually out of scorn (TDNT, 5:941). It is used in Matthew 5:13 to describe old salt that was worthless, and subsequently thrown out as garbage upon a dirt road and trampled. In the Septuagint, the same Greek word is used in Judges 9:27 to describe the stomping on grapes with one’s feet in a winepress. Also in the Septuagint, the word is used to describe the stomping upon an enemy (e.g. Ps. 56:4, 90:13).

With that in mind, the image of Hebrews 10:29 is utterly grotesque on every level.

Consider Who is Trampled

It’s the picture of the God of the universe; His Majesty and the Sovereign Lord; the Creator who made all things good. In awesome precision and beauty, from the astronomic to the atomic, he spoke it all into existence and function. Instead of remaining in perfect glory, he made a plan to save unworthy man. Motivated by his own glory, God descends and lowers himself by an incomprehensible magnitude to take on the frailty of humanity. He humbled himself to a degree that no man will ever know. Every man who humbles himself, even greatly, merely does so as a man in humanity: man’s humbling does not take on a nature below himself that is literally immeasurable. But God the Son took on humanity.

But it didn’t stop there. He then lived under the demands of the law; that law which crushes every man, revealing him as a horrific moral rebel in nature and deed. “Therefore you are to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). And Jesus is, was, and did.

old-rugged-cross-christian-stock-photoGeneticists fantasize about the possibility of engineering a perfect human being. They need look no further than this God-man, Jesus Christ. And it doesn’t stop there. His perfection prepared him for judicial condemnation. It was not a condemnation he earned, however. He earned only veneration, adoration, and admiration to the highest degree. Yet, he willingly offered his life to his Father in the place of wretched man, that through his death, sinners might have life. He permitted himself to be nailed to the cross for a thing such as men. And as he hung on the cross, God the Father unloaded every ounce of his righteous wrath due sinners upon that perfect Son, Jesus Christ. He got what sinners deserve (condemnation) so sinners can get what they do not deserve (justification). No human court illustration of judicial pardon will do to illustrate Christ’s saving work because all human courts carry some finite penalty. But the penalty sin deserves is unquantifiable. However, as the God man who aced the law, his offering-life is unquantifiable, so that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Blood mingled with tears in history’s summum bonum display of love. His love forever diverted God’s wrath from his people so that God’s love might forever flow to his people.

Consider Who is Trampling

Imagine, then, this thing; this creature; this mere man walking up to the bloodied, crucified Christ. Man, that puny thing which must sleep, eat, and use the restroom. Man, that specimen of depravity, then looks with self-exalting derision on his Creator and Sustainer. He takes a Christ-given breath as he ponders with his Christ-empowered cognitive ability how he will unleash his hatred upon He who loves him most. Motivated by a grotesque mingling of intoxicated worship of self and determined hatred of God, he knows what he will do.

k10299813Imagine for a moment that the cross  is pulled down and laid flat down on the ground. The Sovereign Lord is still nailed to it; blood splattered; beaten; suffering; loving.

And then it happens. This feeble creature steps to the cross, lifts up his feet, and stomps on Jesus Christ over and over. With each stomp he grits his teeth harder; the neck veins bulge further; his fests clenched tighter. The apostate has contemptuously trampled Christ underfoot.

Now imagine if one’s own wife or father or children were nailed to the cross. As they lay there, they then come under that reprobate’s foot-stomping wrath. And yet, stomping on the crucified Christ would be far, far worse than doing so to one’s own child, wife, or parent.

Apostasy is a trampling underfoot the Son of God.

The repugnance of apostasy is worth doing whatever it takes for us to remain loyal to His Majesty, Jesus Christ. Even more, the radiance of Christ is worth doing whatever it takes to remain loyal to him.

By God’s grace, may the thought of trampling Christ be unspeakably repulsive because he is unspeakably attractive.

“Father in heaven, whatever happens, help us to never be counted among that disgraceful company who would trample underfoot the Son of God. May you remove our feet before we could use them to trample him. Let us love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength until we finish this present race.”

 

Eric Davis

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Eric is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008. Leslie is his wife of 14 years and mother of their 3 children.
  • Jane Hildebrand

    Hi Eric, I do have a question. Obviously this is one of the most troubling verses to read, but maybe even more so because of who he appears to be addressing. Because in Hebrews 6:4 the author uses similar language when he says, “It is impossible for those who have been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared (some versions say ‘been partakers’) of the Holy Spirit…if they fall away to be brought back to repentance because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again.”

    So my question is, while we embrace election and preservation of the saints, how do we reconcile these passages? Many commentaries I’ve read try to manipulate the meaning of “partakers of the Holy Spirit” to avoid this sticky topic. Any insight would be helpful! Thank you.

    • Maranatha

      Dear Jane, please allow me to bring my personal point of view, perhaps it may help you (possibly Eric can correct or add sth to this): Recently I heard a very dear German brother and evangelical pastor (Martin Luther type, really born again and straight away in his words, deep love for Jesus) preach exactly about these verses and say like this: “If any of you think that if you have once converted to Christ and cannot ever apostasize, this is wicked HERESY!” – Well I thought, I did not hear right. He obviously did not get the difference here and even then did not understand Spurgeon, Calvin or William MacDonald as well, who ever confirmed undetachable, eternal salvation. So, I found it quite harsh to call this “heresy” what he just did not understand right. Jesus will tell him later, but I regret that brethren like him do then turn their flock into great personal disturbance because they think they could add anything themselves to the maintenance of their salvation. But this is NOT TRUE at all. It is ALL GODS work – although there might be the same antinomy in Philippians 2,12-13 (verse 12 = responsability of man // verse 13 = work of God alone) But those who do not “fear and tremble” before God are those in whose hearts God did not work this trembling so that they would act according to His will. They are just simple confessors then, but not truly born again believers who never can fall out of the grace of God (Romans 8!) — Personally I think those type of “christians” who are named here, are the same as described in 1 John 2,19. You know, having only “tasted” the good news of the gospel is not the same as having “eaten the book” (Ezechiel 3,1-3 / Revelation 10,9). And just being “partakers” of the Holy Spirit is not the same as being “sealed” with it once and forever (Ephesians 4,30). And being “enlightened” by the word of Christ is not the same then as being a “light of the world” yourself for Him. A confession by lips is not the same as by heart, which is the same type of “christian” that is mentioned here. At the peak of apostasy type of christian there comes the “Jude type” who was really the perfect hypocrite until the very end, not even ANY of Christs followers did recognize his unconverted heart, even not until he went out into the night after the passah (John 13,28-29)! This is the only type of believer that can ever apostasize IMO and no one recognizes him until he leaves the community (there is 1 John 2,19 again). But you have to make the difference in word and meaning “taste” vs. “eaten”, “partake” vs. “sealed” etc. Otherwise, you will be mislead like my/our beloved German brother. – God bless!

    • chrisleduc1

      What do you mean by “manipulate the meaning”?

      One of the aspects of getting to the meaning of a text is taking into consideration that Scripture never contradicts itself. Another aspect is taking the texts that seem more clear and using them to help interpret those that are less clear, by eliminating possible interpretations that would result in Scripture contradicting itself, since we know it cannot. So if one thinks there are texts that are very clear regarding preservation (and I take that position and would heartily defend it), then the range of possible meanings for this text in Her 6:4 is narrowed down significantly. I wouldnt call that “manipulating the meaning” but you may not either. For example, we do that with texts about Christ’s humanity. Because we know from other texts that He is God, we reject any interpretations that deny His deity.

      Just a quick thought – this is not that unlike the parable of the soils. There are two soils that a seed begins to grow in and initially look identical to the one that will produce good fruit, but two of the three end up falling away.

      • Jane Hildebrand

        First off, please know that I am in no way trying to discredit our security in election. I embrace that completely! However, you have to admit that many have struggled over the wording of this particular passage.

        The sticky point for me is when he says, “partakers” of the Holy Spirit and what the author means by that. He uses that same word in Hebrews 3:1 when he says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…” and in Hebrews 3:14, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold to the confidence…” Therefore, it would appear that his audience was made up of born again believers if we read it literally.

        I get your analogy of the different soils, but I think we can agree that we would never consider the two soils on which the seed began to grow, but fell away, “partakers of the Holy Spirit.”

        Anyway, it is just difficult wording that I’m hoping some bright scholar and theologian can give some insight into. 🙂

        • Maranatha

          Dear Jane, the Greek word for any of the ‘partaker’ verses you cited is “metochos” – Strong’s Definition says: adjective from “metecho” G3348 participant, that is (as noun) a sharer; by implication an associate: fellow, partaker, partner. — Any not-born-again confessor who claims to be member of the church like the 5 unwise virgins can be called “metochos” in this context. (For language questions, I use the MySword bible app which is the same as e-sword-dot-net) Kind regards!

        • chrisleduc1

          “First off, please know that I am in no way trying to discredit our security in election. I embrace that completely!”

          I know 🙂

          “Therefore, it would appear that his audience was made up of born again believers if we read it literally.”

          But if Scripture teaches perseverance, then any possible interpretation that says this text “appears” to teach otherwise is then very obviously a wrong interpretation. So to even say that “it would appear his audience was made up of born again believers” is really just, wrong. It CANNOT even APPEAR that way, because it cannot mean that.

          Why am I being pedantic about this? Because the more time we spend trying to explain why it looks like something we already know it is not, the less time we spend and the less progress with make in getting to the correct interpretation. I trust you know I am not trying to be difficult, but rather I am hoping to challenge you to consider the way you approach, the way you describe, the way you analyze this text. We, I think, should never be saying that a text appears to teach something that we know it cannot. Because really all that that is at the end of the day is a statement of our own poor interpretation. Why? Because, we know that God does not try to deceive us, and His letters to believers are not intended to hide or veil the truth. So if it appears to contradict Scripture, then the only reason it appears as such is because of a fault within ourselves.

          So in one sense, this is somewhat beyond illustration in our real world – like someone wearing a disguise, or something being camouflaged. Peter says in 2 Peter 3:16 “as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

          And please note – I say all the above from personal experience. I get this all too well 🙂

          As mentioned above, the word for partakers has a semantic range of meaning. It is however a fairly rare word in the NT. I am not sure what resources you have available to you, but a further study of the full semantic range of the word, is usage especially in greek texts, would be worth your study.

          Here is just a quick comment from FF Bruce in the NICOT (I had not read it when I made the comparison to the soils) so that you have something to consider. Hopefully this will open some doors to new interpretations that you find plausible. Let me know!

          “The reason why there is no point in laying the foundation over again is now stated: apostasy is irremediable. Once more our author emphasizes that continuance is the test of reality. In these verses he is not questioning the perseverance of the saints; we might say that rather he is insisting that those who persevere are the true saints. But in fact he is stating a practical truth that has verified itself repeatedly in the experience of the church. Those who have shared the covenant privileges of the people of God, and then deliberately renounce them, are the most difficult persons of all to reclaim for the faith. It is indeed impossible to reclaim them, says our author. We know, of course, that nothing of this sort is ultimately impossible for the grace of God, but as a matter of human experience the reclamation of such people is, practically speaking, impossible. People are frequently immunized against a disease by being inoculated with a mild form of it, or with a related but milder disease. And in the spiritual realm experience suggests that it is possible to be “immunized” against Christianity by being inoculated with something which, for the time being, looks so like the real thing that it is generally mistaken for it. This is not a question of those who are attached in a formal way to the profession of true religion without ever having experienced its power; it is blessedly possible for such people to have an experience of God’s grace which changes what was once a matter of formal attachment into a matter of inward reality. It is a question of people who see clearly where the truth lies, and perhaps for a period conform to it, but then, for one reason or another, renounce it.

          In our Lord’s parable of the sower, no difference might have been seen for a time between what had sprouted on rocky ground and what was growing on good ground. It was only when a time of testing came that the difference became evident. It was a time of testing now for the recipients of the epistle, and our author is anxious that they should respond triumphantly to the test and prove that in their case the seed had fallen into good ground.

          From his description of the experiences of those who may nevertheless fall away, it would certainly be difficult to distinguish them at the outset from those who are going to stay the course. For they have (a) been enlightened, (b) tasted the heavenly gift, (c) partaken of the Holy Spirit, (d) experienced the goodness of the word of God and the mighty works of the age to come. Just as the Hebrew spies who returned from their expedition carrying visible tokens of the good land of Canaan nevertheless failed to enter the land because of their unbelief, so those who had come to know the blessings of the new covenant might nevertheless in a spiritual sense turn back in heart to Egypt and so forfeit the saints’ everlasting rest.

          (a) They had been enlightened. It is tempting to understand the verb here in the sense of baptism—a sense which it bore among Christians in Rome in the middle of the second century. The use of “enlightenment” in the sense of baptism need not be a borrowing from the language of the mysteries; it is quite in line with New Testament teaching. At any rate, the enlightenment here is something which has taken place once for all—like baptism itself, which is unrepeatable for the simple reason that its repetition would contradict its whole significance. The light of the gospel has broken in upon these people’s darkness, and life can never be the same again; to give up the gospel would be to sin against the light, the one sin which by its very nature is incurable.

          (b) They had tasted the heavenly gift. As enlightenment suggests baptism, so the tasting of the heavenly gift may suggest the Eucharist; certainly the people in question have partaken of communion in addition to being baptized. And certainly it is possible for people who have experienced both the gospel sacraments to commit apostasy nonetheless. But the “heavenly gift” need not be restricted to the Eucharist; it may indicate the whole sum of spiritual blessings which are sacramentally sealed and signified in the Eucharist.

          (c) They had become partakers of the Holy Spirit. It is precarious to argue that the personal Holy Spirit is not intended here, but rather his gifts or operations, on the sole ground that the definite article is lacking in the Greek. The presence or absence of the article is not in itself sufficient to decide whether the Giver or his gifts are in question. Whether it is possible for one who has been in any real sense a partaker of the Holy Spirit to commit apostasy has been questioned, but our author has no doubt that it is possible in this way to “outrage the Spirit of grace” (10:29). The people whom he has in mind had not only been baptized and received the Eucharist, but had experienced the laying on of hands. Early apostolic history has a record of one outstanding character who believed when he heard the gospel, was baptized, attached himself to the evangelist whose preaching had convinced him, and presumably received the Spirit when apostolic hands were laid upon him—yet Simon Magus was pronounced by Peter to be still “in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:9ff., 18ff.), and showed himself in the following decades to be the most determined opponent of apostolic Christianity. If we ask in what sense a man like that could have partaken of the Holy Spirit, the words which follow here may point the way to an answer.”

          F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Rev. ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 144–147.

          • Maranatha

            Demonstrative and living example: Billy Graham. Started very well, preached the clear gospel powerfully in his youth, apostasized towards ecumenism and world religions during several decades until today without any tendency of biblical repentance. So sorry, but this is 1 John 2,19…

          • bs

            Maranatha, you have to be joking!

          • Maranatha

            Please do the research for yourself and then read Galatians 1,8-9 if you can understand the sense of what Paul says here. I am sorry to eventually destroy an American myth but this is it. (Only one sort of a more dramatic example but there are countless of them all over the world today.)

          • bs

            May God bless you and give you peace Maranatha. But I still think you need to leave the judging up to him.

          • John Byde

            Isn’t that judgemental?

          • Maranatha

            There are too many Christians who apparently do not know the difference between “to judge” and “to assess” sth. biblically. Although there is a nice book on that topic by Erwin Lutzer. Recommended.

          • bs

            Leaving judgement up to God, judgemental? … How so??

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Chris, thank you for taking the time to include this commentary. That was very helpful! I liked his explanation in (c). Made a lot of sense.

            And yes, my resources are limited. I have Hebrew and Greek interlinear Bibles, a Strong’s concordance from the ’70’s the size of a VW and my Bible. That’s about it, so no deep theological resources here. That’s what I depend on all of you for. 🙂

            Thanks again!

          • chrisleduc1

            You’re more than welcome. My email is my username at g mail. If you email me, early next week once things slow down bit I will be more than happy to send you a bunch of stuff from the commentaries that I have on my Bible software. I think this thread will be closed by then. But I definitely want to give you the best of what I can dig up for you 🙂 In the end, you may only end up with a paradox you cannot explain, but at least you’ll know what the teachers the Lord has blessed us, His church, with over the years. Accepting paradoxes is a bit easier at times when can see truly valid interpretations that we may not find all that compelling, but are still at least valid. Blessings!

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Sounds good!

    • Maranatha

      Dear Jane, please allow me to bring my personal point of view, perhaps it may help you (possibly Eric can correct or add sth to this): Recently I heard a very dear German brother and evangelical pastor (Martin Luther type, really born again and straight away in his words, deep love for Jesus) preach exactly about these verses and say like this: “If any of you think that if you have once converted to Christ and cannot ever apostasize, this is wicked HERESY!” – Well I thought, I did not hear right. He obviously did not get the difference here and even then did not understand Spurgeon, Calvin or William MacDonald (such as many other brethren) as well, who ever confirmed undetachable, eternal salvation. So, I found it quite harsh to call this “heresy” what he just did not understand right. Jesus will tell him later, but I regret that brethren like him do then turn their flock into great personal disturbance because they think they could add anything themselves to the maintenance of their salvation. But this is NOT TRUE at all. It is ALL GODS work – although there might be the same antinomy in Philippians 2,12-13 (verse 12 = responsability of man // verse 13 = work of God alone) But those who do not “fear and tremble” before God are those in whose hearts God did not work this trembling so that they would act according to His will. They are just simple confessors then, but not truly born again believers who never can fall out of the grace of God (John 10, 28-29 / Romans 8!) — Personally I think those type of “christians” who are named here, are the same as described in 1 John 2,19. You know, having only “tasted” the good news of the gospel is not the same as having “eaten the book” (Ezechiel 3,1-3 / Revelation 10,9). And just being “partakers” of the Holy Spirit is not the same as being “sealed” with it once and forever (Ephesians 4,30). And being “enlightened” by the word of Christ is not the same then as being a “light of the world” yourself for Him. A confession by lips is not the same as by heart, which is the same type of “christian” that is mentioned here. At the peak of apostasy type of christian there comes the “Judas Ischariot type” who was really the perfect hypocrite until the very end, not even ONE of Christs followers did recognize his unconverted heart, even not until he went out into the night after the passah (John 13,28-29)! This is the only type of believer that can ever apostasize IMO and no one recognizes him until he leaves the community (there is 1 John 2,19 again – today we have the Holy Spirit to let us know what the disciples of Christ did not recognize before). But you have to make the difference in word and meaning “taste” vs. “eaten”, “partake” vs. “sealed” etc. Otherwise, you will be mislead like my/our beloved German brother. – God bless!

    • Eric Davis

      Hi Jane – you bring up an excellent question. So, briefly, we have to affirm everything that Scripture affirms. Scripture teaches that God has chosen his redeemed prior to creation (Eph 1:4-5). Our salvation is a work and gift of God which he will not take away (cf. Rom. 8:29-30). God will not un-save those he has saved. He will not un-forgive those he has forgiven. There is no condemnation for all in Christ. No one can snatch us from his hand (John 10:28-30). God’s gift of eternal life is not temporary. So, those saved will persevere.

      This means that the apostate cannot be someone who was truly regenerate. And Heb 6 will be consistent with that.

      Now, Hebrews 6 is a tricky passage. Now, it never says that the individuals were “in Christ,” “born from above,” or “justified by faith,” for example. As you mentioned, the language is different. To be a “partaker” of the Spirit is not to say indwelt or regenerate by the Spirit. To partake could mean to sample by observation; to witness his power. It does not have to be regenerate by the Spirit.

      So, that’s my brief take. The apostate is someone who participated in the things of Christ, but was never truly saved. Eventually, that individual’s dead heart will manifest. And it’s very sad.

      Hope that helps a bit. Good question.

      • Jane Hildebrand

        “To partake could mean to sample by observation; to witness his power. It does not have to be regenerate by the Spirit.”

        Thank you! That is what I needed clarification on.

        • Eric Davis

          One additional interpretive key to Heb 6:1-8 is the author’s conclusion in vv. 7-8:

          “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”

          You never want to be in the category, in Scripture, of those who “end up being burned.”

        • bs

          Jane, you can accept these ideas about words if you want to, but the _linguistic_ argument here is incredibly weak. Please, please read something on language, linguistics, semantics …
          FFB’s take on this text is much better.
          Peace

          • Jane Hildebrand

            Unless you are willing to offer me an answer to my initial question, I will consider you a troll and not a teacher.

          • bs

            Jane, I thought I was actually answering your original question :-). I take your original q

          • Jane Hildebrand

            I don’t know what FFB stands for.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            So if F.F. Bruce claims that these passages are addressed to true Christians, may I assume he is saying that our salvation can be lost? Is that your view as well?

          • bs

            Jane, you can read what FF Bruce said in chrisleduc’s post above. As for me, guess :-). How do you read _this_ text? As it seems to be, or as you want it to be?
            Peace.

          • Jane Hildebrand

            bs, guessing what you believe or even what you’re trying to convey in many of your posts is requiring more Excedrin than I am willing to take. Peace.

    • Jason

      The context of Hebrews 6:4 is immediately following Hebrews 5 with a “Therefore”. Hebrews 5:11-14 is a lamentation of people kicking back in immaturity. The ESV puts a header of “apostasy” there, but he’s not talking about people who are spiritually dead but infants (verse 13) who *should* no longer be infants.

      Taking that into Hebrews 6, we see that the “therefore” is tying in a need for increased spiritual maturity. Immediately, he is encouraging the believers to move on from the basics instead of setting up camp on them.

      Teachers like R.C. Sproul rightly believe that Hebrews 6 is effectively an argument from absurdity explaining how it is unnecessary to be concerned about a persons salvation once they’re saved (even if they could lose salvation, they couldn’t get it again). However, when discussing that, he seemed confused why that point was being made.

      The reason is in the context. The point is not to be fearful of moving on past the basics of salvation but rather to grow and mature out of that beginning (Philippians 2:12). The point is to move people out of being immature, sluggish believers who endlessly wax on about only the very basics of the faith into imitators of Christ (Hebrews 6:12).

      Sadly, I find it likely that the reason we see so little comprehensive teaching on this chapter is because the popular perspective is to obsess about salvation so much that we refuse to grow up beyond it. The extreme examples are in the “hyper-grace” movement, but the practical examples are everywhere.

      The context of Hebrews 10:26 is a little different. It is those who have a knowledge of the truth, but refuse to repent of their sin. As Chris has said, these are those who receive the truth eagerly but then get choked out or dried up.

      • Maranatha

        Dear Jason, thank you very much, this is a very good argument. Nevertheless, we do hopefully agree in Romans 11,29 regarding Gods plan in salvation for once and forever? If Paul is the author of the letter to the Hebrews (which I prefer to think), he might then adress to an audience ‘mixed’ like you mentioned: Some of them are really saved but reprimanded as not having grown ‘to full size’ according to the long time they have been converted; others may THINK that they are saved (just confessors) but among spiritual babies they could not really fix their faith and are even more endangered to apostasize because their hearts are still unconverted. If the real saints here were more mature and sound, the other group would get a better chance not to fall off completely. Perhaps they might have heard something like “gospel light”, something like in many churches today, too, that hinders to break through to real faith, to be newborn and saved forever. So you could read these verses in one context together with the constitutive “therefore” in chapter 6,1. Thanks again, this was helpful!

  • Maranatha

    Dear Eric, did I say anything wrong that you would delete my posting to Jane? Thanks for explanation. God bless!

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