Hebrews 6:4-6 Refers to the Unsaved
By David J. Stewart | April 2018
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.”
I have received numerous e-mails lately from worried web visitors, who are struggling to understand our text passage, which I'd like to repeat for you now... 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.”
These Scriptures are speaking about unbelievers, who have heard the Gospel, have experienced the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and have had the opportunity to get saved; but have deliberately rejected Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Carefully notice that the Bible says they were once “enlightened” not saved. To be enlightened means that they saw the truth of the Gospel and comprehended it. They have “tasted” of the heavenly gift, but they did not consume it.
They have “tasted the good word of God,” but they fell away from faith, that is, like the seeds that fell upon the stony ground in the parable of the seeds in Luke 8:12, they didn't get saved. Luke 8:11-12, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” Luke 8:11-12 explains Hebrews 6:4-6 well, I think.
It is improper to claim that these Scriptures apply to believers, because the Bible uses the word “impossible” in Hebrews 6:4. Is it possible for believers to repent of their sins and get right with God? Certainly, yes, it IS POSSIBLE! Did not Peter repent after denying and cursing the name of Jesus? Yes, he did. Did not king David repent after impregnating Bathsheba in an adulterous affair and murdering her husband, Uriah? Yes, he did. 1st John 1:9 promises that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So, clearly, Hebrews 6:4-6 is speaking about the unsaved. A person who rejects the Savior is hellbound, and there is no other hope for them apart from Christ.
This is exactly what the Holy Bible means in Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Carefully notice that the Bible doesn't say that a believer falls away from grace because of sin; but rather, a person is “fallen from grace” because they are trying to be justified by keeping the Old Testament LAW! For By The LAW Is The Knowledge Of Sin (Understanding LAW and GRACE will help you greatly). So we see that a born-again believer falls IN GRACE, and never FROM GRACE.
The only way to FALL FROM GRACE is to miss it completely by trying to earn your way to Heaven, which was the big mistake that the rich young ruler made in Mark chapter ten. The young man boasted to Jesus that he had kept God's law perfectly since his youth. Mark 10:20, “And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” When the Lord burst his bubble of pride, showing him that he was covetous (by asking him to go sell everything he owned and give it to the poor), he went away very sad the Bible says, because he had much wealth. You see, Jesus was using the LAW the way it was intended to be used, as a measuring stick by which when compared, all men fall short of the glory of God (which is absolute 100% perfection - Romans 3:23). The Old Testament LAW brings us to GRACE, which came through the cross upon which Christ became the sacrifice for our sins (Galatians 3:24-26). REDEEMED FROM THE LAW (a powerhouse MP3 sermon of doctrine by Pastor Harry A. Ironside).
There can be no faith without hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is the Holy Spirit Who draws (convicts) all mankind to the Gospel to be saved. John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” This is what it means in Hebrews 6:4-6 when it speaks of 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 means you had better get saved when the Holy Spirit convicts your heart about doing so, because if you reject the Gospel, there is no other way to be saved.
If you reject Jesus Christ, you might as well be crucifying the Lord all over again, putting Him to open shame. Anyone who refuses to get saved by believing the Gospel is playing with hellfire. To say “no” to the Gospel (i.e., the Good News of Christ crucified, buried and risen) is the same thing as spitting on Jesus yourself and shouting to Pilate, “Crucify Him!”
Hebrews 10:26-29 Explained
Again, this passage of Scripture clearly applies only to the Christ-rejecter, which is evident from observing several things. First, let's read the passage of Scripture, shall we...
Hebrews 10:26-29, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”
Carefully notice that this passage is talking about the “KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH” and not salvation itself. The knowledge of the truth is knowledge of “THE GOSPEL” my friend. If a lost person hears and rejects the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ, Who became the sacrifice for their sins on the cross, then they are trodding Him underfoot. They are esteeming the precious blood of Jesus as being meaningless, of no significance to them personally, in defiance of the Holy Spirit Who has offered to them the free grace of God. All men must face the judgment of almighty God in eternity. Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Many Bible students make the mistake of reading too deep into a particular passage, looking for a more elaborate meaning than what is simply presented. The following passage in one such common case. The Word of God is simple telling us that we are saved BY FAITH in the Gospel. ...
Hebrews 10:38-39, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
To “draw back” means to live the Christian life without ever being born-again. Many people start on a religious journey, going through all the motions at church, hearing the Gospel preached again and again, but as we plainly read in the preceding text, they never “BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL.” Many of the Hebrews in the Wilderness heard Moses preach “the Gospel” for 40 long years, but it was “not being mixed with faith in them that heard it,” and so they died in their sins without the Lord and went to Hell forever. ...
Hebrews 4:1-2, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
The “Good News” of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen is WORTHLESS if it falls upon the deaf ears of an unresponsive heart of unbelief. THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH! The just do not live by works Mr. Paul Washer! The just do not live by works Mr. Ray Comfort! The Holy Bible proclaims in Hebrews 10:38a, “NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH”!!! Paul Washer has drawn back. Ray Comfort has drawn back. They have “fallen from grace,” trying to keep the LAW to prove they are saved, which effectively is the same thing as adding works to faith for salvation. According to these errant preachers, if you don't have good works you are not saved.
The truth is that NONE OF US have given up our wickedness. We are ALL woeful sinners! 1st John 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” I love you my friend, whosoever you may be. I am a big sinner just like you, like all of us. I don't want you to be deceived. Christ died for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures (1st Corinthians 15:1-4)! Christ died for UNGODLY SINNERS like you and me (Romans 4:5-6)!
Once you have it, salvation can NEVER be lost, jeopardized or forfeited for any reason. No Christian believer can sin enough to exhaust the grace of God!!! Romans 5:20, “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Where the deepest and darkest sins abound in a believer's life, the wondrous grace of God reaches deeper than the stain of sin has gone, cleansing us spotless by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the beautiful sinless Lamb of God!!!!!!! This doesn't give the believer permission to sin (Romans 3:31; Hebrews 12:6-8), it just means that our salvation is secured in Christ's sacrifice upon the cross of Calvary, and NOT in our performance, sincerity or level of commitment to the things of God in this life. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith.
“Now you say,
'Brother Hyles, you make an issue.' You dead sure better know I'll make an
—BATTLE OF THE AGES (MP3, Dr. Jack Hyles, “The King James Bible crowd is going to come out on top!”)
Souls Are Dying!
Precious Christian Testimonies
How Permanent Is Your Salvation?
(an excellent MP3 sermon by Pastor Hank Lindstrom, 1940-2008)
of the child of God is that he loves everybody!”
(a quote from Pastor Jack Hyles' classic MP3 sermon, “FORGIVENESS”)
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!