Hebrews 6: 4 – 8
One of the most profound errors taught in the Charismatic and Pentecostal sect is that once you have been saved, it is possible to lose your Salvation. They teach that when you fall into sin and don’t repent then your Salvation is gone. This has given birth majorly to the FEAR of going to Hell and hence the unscriptural prayer point of God helping them not to miss the expected RAPTURE. The portion of scripture they refer to or quote from is Hebrews 6: 4 – 5. Unknown to them, the writer was addressing something totally different in that portion of the scripture. Let’s examine what the writer had in mind as he penned down this great portion/part of the good Book.
We were able to discover from last week that the writer instructed the UNBELIEVING JEWS to move away from the Old (Judaism) into the New (message of the Gospel), acknowledging that it was the Will of God for them to gravitate towards what God was doing through Jesus whom he had compared to as better than Angels, Moses and Aaron. These Unbelieving Jews ought to have been teachers but were still locked in the Old Testament observations and rituals. He (the writer) described them as unskillful because they remained babes who depended on MILK when they ought to have started eating STRONG MEAT.
To this same sect, the writer reinforces his point in his quest of trying to convince them about responding positively to the message of the Gospel. He described them in five different sentences and this is where we would like you to closely examine with us.
He described them (the UNBELIEVING JEWS) as:
PEOPLE WHO WERE ONCE ENLIGHTENED:
The Jews were enlightened; they saw the light and witnessed the illumination of God’s Word. Right from the onset, they knew a Savior was coming, their Prophets prophesied about a Son who was going to be born; the same would lead people out of darkness. He was described as the light of the world; the same light that will be used by men in development; He was described as the Word of God. They were indeed enlightened (illuminated), their intellects were awakened but the fact still remained that THEY DID NOT ACCEPT Him because He came to His own but they rejected Him.
PEOPLE WHO TASTED THE HEAVENLY GIFT:
To TASTE means to sample, to try or to test. We can use the same word when it relates to food; tasting is completely different from eating. These UNBELIEVING JEWS were said to have tasted of the Heavenly Gift and not gifts. The GIFT here refers to Jesus. Going back in history, they had first-hand experience of what God will be doing with Jesus in the future. They had seen the Red Sea split into two, they had witnessed the raising of the dead, and they had seen God fight for and against their enemies. They knew what God could do and all these the writer had described as the TASTE so that when the real thing appears they would be able to recognize and imbibe, eating and digesting all. Yet, they refused to move from tasting to eating…stubborn set of people if you ask me!
PEOPLE WHO HAD PARTAKEN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The word PARTAKE here comes from a Greek word that connotes ASSOCIATE or FELLOW. They saw and experienced the many things that were done by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. God was described as being with them. They saw the clouds in the wilderness during the day and also witnessed the pillar of fire by night. These were symbols of the Holy Spirit. They never became possessors of the Holy Spirit but were promised possession as they await the coming Messiah. We become possessors of the Holy Spirit the moment we are associated with Him through the Gospel. They had a lot to expect from the coming of Jesus but guess what they refused to believe, even when they knew that the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed.
PEOPLE WHO HAD TASTED THE WORD OF GOD:
They had tasted part and not all of the Word of God. Only an association with Jesus can make anyone taste the complete Word of God. They were exposed in part to the Will and Purpose of God. David made an impression and said, “Taste and See or discover that the Lord is good. Tasting precedes eating; you cannot eat until you have tasted. They were witnesses of His Word through His Prophets; they were witnesses to His Word when Jesus came out of the River at Jordan and the voice declared, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” All they were left with was to settle down to eat the prepared food as they had tasted and knew what God was like.
PEOPLE WHO HAD TASTED THE POWERS OF THE AGE TO COME:
No Nation has ever witnessed the POWERS of God like Israel or the Jews did. They were witnesses of the so many powers displayed by the Apostles. They saw the episode on the day of Pentecost, which is a similitude of what will happen, come Rapture. One would have thought that after they were given the so many opportunities to witness God and the many miracles, signs and wonders displayed, it would have been easy for them to move with God as He brings them to the reality of the paintings of the Old Testament. They were meant to move because the administration and dispensations were changing from the Old to the New. Rather, they were stuck on the Old; they refused to EAT again even after they had TASTED! The writer describes them as having a HARD HEART.
THE WRITER CONCLUDES:
The struggle here is for these stiff-necked people to accept the message of the Gospel so that they can be saved; they had heard His voice again but their hearts were hardened and the writer is doing a lot to enlighten them because they face the danger of losing an opportunity to be saved.
It is the UNBELIEVERS who are in danger of losing their Salvation should they refuse to respond positively. If they happen to turn away then what happened to their fathers on the Day of Provocation in the wilderness would happen to them; it will be impossible to make them repent afresh as this will imply they are trying to nail Him (Jesus) to the cross once again, holding Him up in public shame.
The writer concluded his discourse by illustrating with the RAIN, PARCHED GROUND and HARVEST. He said, when the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it. The patched ground here is the ONE who hears the message of the GOSPEL, accepts it and bearing fruits, such one is BLESSED as compared to the ONE who refuses to ACCEPT and therefore bears THORNS and THISTLES such a one becomes USELESS and good for condemnation.
Once you are saved, you have been granted Eternal life by God. It’s a gift therefore no one can boast about it. Rather than pray to God to make Heaven, you can spend that time RENEWING YOUR MIND so that you can know and understand the things we have freely been given by God.
If God had perceived that our greatest need was economic, he would have sent an economist. If he had perceived that our greatest need was entertainment, he would have sent us a comedian or an artist. If God had perceived that our greatest need was political stability, he would have sent us a politician. If he had perceived that our greatest need was health, he would have sent us a doctor. But he perceived that our greatest need involved our sin, our alienation from him, our profound rebellion, our death; and he sent us a Savior – D.A Carson
Keep it right here and be refreshed!