For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. Hebrews 6:4-6
Can believers lose their salvation? This passage is not talking about a believer who fell away. It describes one who tasted, flirted, and whose behavior was even shaped by time in the company in God’s congregation. He sensed the aroma of the Holy Spirit and was inspired by the messages of the eternal age to come, but after all of that, he fell away.
Perhaps you’ve known him. He spent time in church. He knew the songs. He cried a time or two at a tender story. His reputation was upstanding. He seemed to enjoy the community but if you looked for solid evidence of his sanctification, it was absent. He stayed the same from day to day, year to year, and a testimony of real change was missing. With time, boredom set in and he lapsed into indifference. The lure of the world’s culture worked its charms. Though he hung out in the company of Jesus, he was not overcome with His glory. He learned the stories and the Christian rhetoric as if it were a script for a play but the language failed to bubble out of a changed and grateful heart. He was an actor.
How has he re-crucified the Son of God and held him up to contempt? By being close to Jesus but not giving his life to Him. His departure was a declaration that Jesus isn’t glorious and His offer of salvation isn’t worth accepting. He would stand with the crowd who crucified Jesus and agree from the sidelines that this person is worth rejecting. He sees the cross, beholds Love, hears the offer of forgiveness, but walks away unimpressed. Jesus is humiliated and rejected all over again.
We are told to be a discerner of spirits. In looking for spiritual fruit, I must remember that there is a counterfeit for every fruit of the spirit. A pretender of the faith can do loving things while feeling nothing. He can look joyful but feel angst. He can appear to be peaceful while sitting on a ton of anger. There is the appearance of the Spirit’s fruit but it is not authentic. You and I know the difference. There is a mimic who finds it difficult to keep up appearances. Once he falls away, whatever warmth once drew him to Jesus’ company leaves and his heart is hardened. The spirit of repentance will be even farther from him, just as it was for the likes of Esau.
Your lessons for understanding people are deep. I cannot possibly understand this without the help of Your Spirit. Translate this message in just the way I need to hear it explained. Amen