Again, I am thankful that Koinos church members have been preparing themselves for Sunday worship by reading and praying over the sermon text ahead of time. This one is a biggy! Consider if you or a friend has ever struggled with the issue of falling away from Jesus and losing salvation. May this passage urge you on to greater maturity so that you will see God’s grace for all that it is and have the assurance He wants you to have. I hope you will leave a comment if you have a question or point for clarification.
Hebrews chapter 6 deals with the all-important question, “Can a person who is saved by faith in Jesus lose salvation?” It begins by calling believers to progress to maturity in Christ and its three paragraphs each explain huge reasons why. Reason #1 in v.4-5 – “it is impossible” for those who have been enlightened and fall away “to restore them to repentance.” Reason #2 is in v.10-11 “For God is not unjust…and we desire each one of you…to have the full assurance of hope until the end.” Reason #3 is in v.13 and following – God swore an oath promising salvation to those who believe.
Paragraph 1 tells us who the people are that fall away from Christ. They are people who have “been enlightened,” “tasted the heavenly gift,” & etc. In other words they have heard everything they need to hear in order to become followers of Jesus. Yet they turn away instead. Verses 7-8 tell us more precisely who they are. The land that receives the rain and produces a crop are the people who hear the gospel and bear the fruit of following Jesus. The land that receives the rain but produces no crop are the people who hear the gospel and bear no fruit but turn away from Jesus.
The text leads to this conclusion. Those who fall away from Jesus, missing salvation, are those who were never saved in the first place. They heard everything they needed to hear but rejected it and never bore any fruit.
Paragraph 2 expresses the urgency for believers to “have the full assurance of hope until the end.” But how can people have “full assurance” that they will not fall away like those in verses 4-5? The next paragraph explains the important answer to that question.
Paragraph 3 explains that the way to have assurance depends on God keeping His promise. Verse 13 says, “For He swore by himself,” and verse 17, “So he guaranteed it with an oath.” In the same way that God promised to give Abraham a son, He also promised to save those who trust in Jesus. Likewise, just as God kept his promise by giving Abraham a son, Isaac, He also keeps His promise and saves those who believe. The words of verse 18, “It is impossible for God to lie” tell us that it is impossible for born again Christians to fall away and lose their salvation.
This text is extremely helpful to the church. There are many people who don’t have this “full assurance” but they should. There are many churches and teachers who wrongly teach that the Bible says this “full assurance” does not exist. They shouldn’t. Praise be to God, we may have this full assurance!