impossible?

Todays faithful daily read is from 2 Sam 18 and Heb 6:1-12

Brother Al McEwan is recovering from a hip op and may not be up to venturing into Faithful Daily Read land today, so please allow me to make a few quick comments on the Hebrews passage.

The writer of the Hebrews gives the strongest encouragements to persevere and the gravest warnings not to fall away. Today’s passage holds out a chilling thought—that for those who fall away it is impossible to come back to faith!

And yet we all know of Christians who have made detours from following Jesus and come back to faith. (I was celebrating this truth with just such a person this week). So what of the passage? It certainly is among the more difficult in the NT to understand.

Think about these possible interpretations,

1. Drifting as evidence of never having been truely saved. The person who ‘drifts’ quietly and further away from Christ by pursuing the world, proves their earlier profession of faith was not genuine (see the 4 soils parable).

2. The true Christian who makes a hostile rejection of Jesus . The person who doesn’t so much ‘drift’ but verbally, completely and thoroughly recants their faith in Christ. The writer could be exploring the implication that rejection was so emphatic that atonement would have to take place a second time, which is not a category entertained in the NT.

3. The Risk of the Hardening of Heart. That to follow the heart after other gods away from Jesus is to risk the heart becoming hardened by God (like Pharoah’s in Exodus). That God may just give us what our hearts desire—to be away forever! Note in v8 the allegory of the farm the writer says ‘it is in danger of it being cursed’ i.e., not automatically but possibility.

It is not our business to judge when a backslider has finally reached the point of apostate, only God can declare that. However two things are clear: Drifting away is too dangerous to even think about; secondly John says that “if we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 jn 1:9.

Stay with Christ in all circumstances. Hold your line.

Geoff

 

 

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3 thoughts on “impossible?

  1. Thanks Geoff. I remember your bike riding illustration about holding the line and have whispered those words to myself a few times since then.
    I think people who drift away probably didn’t get it the first time but those who deliberately reject God while still believing in His existence and the sacrifice of his Son are deliberately turning to Satan. Scary stuff.
    As you say, best to hang in there with Christ in all circumstances. Even when things seem unfair always remember Romans 8:28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    No matter how things look now if we stay with Christ everything will work out right in the end.

    Best wishes to Al.

    PS. I laughed at the description of Absolom hanging in the tree by his hair. What a stupid way to get caught!

  2. Yes I’ve long wondered about Brother Al’s real commitment, a simple hip replacement should be no barrier to the true FDR blogger posting his Daily Read! Is that laughter I hear rolling down from Coledale? But seriously it is good when brothers step in and look after our faithful readers. Thanks GT, go for it AMc!

  3. Thank you Geoff. As you said we can’t make that call of a person loosing their salvation only God sees those who are truly His. Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks upon the heart. But I love the work of the Holy Spirit in this area, Who confirms within the believers heart that they are really saved. There is nothing more unsettling for a Christian to doubt their salvation. Praise God for His Spirit who confirms this truth deep into our hearts. Where Satan can’t take that assurance away. If anybody is not sure about their salvation do talk to someone, sometimes just talking and praying together will give the assurance needed within the heart.

    Speedy recovery Al.

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