A Picture of Apostasy

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A Picture of Apostasy

A Picture of Apostasy

Hebrews 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,
5  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
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.
7  For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

There are few things that God cannot do, and in our text we have one of those things. This passage has been used by those who believe in works salvation. They believe a person can lose their salvation. Thus they deny God’s promise of eternal life. We are going to approach this passage in the same manner we approach the rest of the Scripture. God says what He means and means what He says.
This passage teaches us what apostasy looks like.

II Thessalonians 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The word “impossible” here tells us that God cannot go back on His Word. This past Wednesday, the government was still insisting that all truckers crossing into the U.S. must have the shots. Then later on Wednesday, the government reported that they had suspended the requirement for the shots for cross border truckers. Then on Thursday, the government came out again and said that truckers would need to have the shots to cross the border. Talk about confusion.
God is not like that. As we have seen already, we do not need to go back and study the foundational truths. God has declared the truth and He will not change His mind.
Those who have been enlightened have been taught all they need to know to be saved. The problem is that the lost person only works with head knowledge. He or she refuses to allow the Holy Spirit to convince them of their sin.
The descriptive words that God used here show us how a person can hear the truth and witness the work of God in other people’s lives, and yet reject His work in their own life. Tasting is not the same as actually eating. Again, God is describing His work in a person’s life, but also the ability of a person to reject the reality of His Work. As we see as well, the Holy Spirit is working to bring conviction to the heart of the lost sinner. No person will stand before God at the great white throne judgment and claim not to have had opportunity to be saved.
In verse 5 we have more description of the work of God in the heart of the sinner and his rejection of that work. The person also knows there is a world to come. They may want heaven, but they want it on their own terms. They just ignore the fact of eternal judgment in hell.
In verse 6 we see that God has no other means of salvation. He has provided the only way of salvation and He is not going to alter that to accommodate those who want their own way. Verse 6 would also be a good example of the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. To reject His work and to think that His work can be ignored and modified is the unforgivable sin. There is no hope for such a person.
Some may be familiar with a man named Charles Templeton. He supposedly was converted as a young man and went on to become a very well known evangelist. He was associated with Billy Graham for a time. It is stated that he was plagued with doubts and eventually rejected Christianity and became an avowed agnostic.
Those who take his account at face value would believe this man was saved and lost his salvation. Those who take the Bible as their authority would understand that it is not what a person professes that makes the difference. It is what the person possesses that makes the difference. Charles Templeton proved to be an imposter for a number of years. He was never saved. He is a picture of what God has been teaching in these verses.
In verses 7-8 God used an illustration from nature to emphasize His point here. The seed falls upon the earth. Some of the soil is prepared and the seed germinates and gives a crop. God sends the rain and other blessings. The soil in verse 7 benefits from God’s blessings. The soil in verse 8 is given the same opportunity, but it does not bring forth profitable crops. It brings forth thorns and briers. The same opportunity was given it, but it gave different results. It is only good to be burned in order to prepare it for a good crop.

Hebrews 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation. True salvation is not temporary. It is eternal. It is a dangerous thing to try to make God a liar. To suggest that He is teaching that a saved person can lose their salvation is to make God a liar. When we study the Bible we need to study It in humility with an understanding that God is not like man. He does not teach confusion. He teaches truth and we can be blessed in knowing Him and serving Him.
Pastor Bartel

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