Fall away

Heb 6:4 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,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 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.

What does this passage mean? What is the essence of falling away?

In my years of study it appears there are various situations of people that stop serving God. These are some of the situations:

Prodigal~ Luke 15.11, This is someone who just gets tired or self willed. They do not deny God or deny their experience with God. They know they need to get right with God and return to Him. These people we refer to as backslider. These people simply need to return to church and renew their experience with God to be saved.

2. Reprobate~ 2 Timothy 3.8, these are people who return to a former religion and claim it is enough to be saved. It can be a form of christianity or another religion altogether. In the case of Hebrews 6, they were returning to Judaism. These people are in a serious condition. The only hope for salvation has been discarded and now a substitute is being trusted. Satan works mightily to convince them they are saved and this condition is very hard to recover from. In my opinion their only hope is for true children of God to intercede in their behalf and ask God to arrest their faith.

3. Enemies of the cross~ Philippians 3.18, These are people who once knew Christ but have turned away, or have fallen away, from Him. The greek word is for enemies is echthros: ekh-thros’ From a primary word ἔχθω echthō (to hate); hateful (passively odious, or actively hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan): – enemy, foe. These people hate Jesus and all he stands for. As in the passage in Hebrews 6, they believe the Jews were right in crucifying Jesus. They hate the church. They openly try to pull people away from the church.

In this passage in Hebrews 6, to fall away means parapiptō: par-ap-ip’-to From G3844 and G4098; to fall aside, that is, (figuratively) to apostatize: – fall away. Apostasy is: 1 : renunciation of a religious faith 2 : abandonment of a previous loyalty : defection.

The average back slider does not fall into this category. They have not renounced Christ. They have not abandoned their faith and gone on to something else. They have not fallen away. They are a prodigal. They know the way home and many times make the journey back and pray through.

Having said that, let me address the passage in Hebrews 6:

Impossible to renew them again to repentance: This enlightenment Paul speaks of (I assume Paul wrote Hebrews), is the original conversion. That is why it is called enlighten. The light came on. There was understanding and revelation. That enlightenment can only occur once. It can never happen again any more than you can see your firstborn for the first time again. There is only one moment of enlightenment. We experience it when we come to Christ. Paul is saying if that has happened in your life, you can never have that first moment of repentance again! You may repent of many things, and confess many failures, but the original enlightenment and repentance can only occur once! Paul is telling us if you fall away form this experience, that original experience can never happen again. It is simply impossible. There is only one birth, both natural and spiritual.

The word renew in the phrase “renew them again” to repentance is; anakainizō: an-ak-ahee-nid’-zo From G303 and a derivative of G2537; to restore: – renew. We cannot be born after the first time spiritually or physically. There are times we all wish we could go back and start over. It would be nice to have that first time initial experience again, but Paul is saying that is impossible to renew. It has already happened.

Paul is encouraging the Hebrew people to not go back to Judaism. He is writing to explain you can only be born of the water and Spirit once. After that you must pray though or get right with God but you cannot repeat the whole process. It is a fact and you are a child of God. You cannot go back and say I would like to start again and repent, get baptized, and get the Holy Ghost and start over.

Lastly, that is why Paul refers to crucifying Christ again. We all know He cannot be crucified again, He has already been crucified. To try and return to the original salvation we experienced is impossible, just as crucifying Christ is impossible. To try and renew our original repentance and conversion would be tantamount to asking Christ to be crucified again so we could have a fresh beginning.

Paul is making the strong statement that the cross, the crucifixion, and your repentance (conversion both water and spirit), are events that cannot be replicated. If you fall away you can never duplicate those again. You can never restore these things back to original condition, or cause them to happen again. They simply are.

The reprobate is not lost because he cannot be saved. The reprobate will be lost because he or she rejects the only answer for sin; Jesus Christ.

May God keep His hand on all of us so that we never fall away. Should that ever happen, may we be willing to humble ourselves and return to God for that is the only answer. We cannot go back and experience our original birth either natural or spiritual. We have been enlightened!

Thanks for reading today…