A Warning

In this the third and last part of our exposition of Hebrews 6:4-12, we will finally look at the description of those who “fall away.” It is impossible to renew them again unto repentance because they crucify again the Son of God and put Him to an open shame. One might argue, and convincingly, that those described in verses 4-6 are believers who lose their salvation. However, when we examine the context, we find a contrast between “them” described in verses 4-8, and “you” of verses 9-12. The “you” of verses 9-12 are those he has referred to as “brethren” indicating that they are saved (3:12, 10:19, 13:22). After describing “them” in verses 4-8, he writes in verse 9, “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.” He indicates that his readers possess “better things” than those in verses 4-8. His readers not only possess better things but the “things that accompany salvation!” This must mean that those in verses 4-8 do not possess the things that accompany salvation, and therefore are not/were never saved!
The challenge still remains to explain how this description in verses 4-6 can apply to people who are not saved. Perhaps, they received “light” – some understanding of the gospel but not enough to be saved. Perhaps, they only tasted the heavenly gift and the good word of God. Perhaps, they partook of the Holy Spirit in terms of being a recipient on some level of His ministry, but were not indwelt by Him. Whatever we say about the people described in these verses, the New Testament contains similar examples of people who professed faith in God and or Christ, and may have even shared “Christian” experiences, but were not truly saved. Also, we must not lose sight of the purpose of the passage. The writer urged his readers (and us) who were not making spiritual progress to go on to maturity. And he warned them/us that lack of spiritual progress may lead to a falling away indicating they were never truly saved.