The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Hebrews 10 and 6

I was raised Christian and have been Christian most of my life. A few years ago I went through a period of agnosticism and then returned to Christianity. Since my return to the faith, my faith has been stronger than ever; I’ve studied scripture more diligently, I’ve been more “God minded”. I’m just worried it’s all for nothing.

Hebrews 10:26 (CLNT)
26 For at our sinning voluntarily after obtaining the recognition of the truth, it is no longer leaving a sacrifice concerned with sins,

Hebrews 6:4-6 (CLNT)
4 For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit,
5 and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
6 and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy.

I’m trying to take comfort in the story of the prodigal son. Can you guys help me out?

Hopes for UR,

Are you fearing you may have committed the “unforgivable sin”? First, I don’t think there IS such a thing, but I won’t go into that since the passages you quote don’t mention it.

My understanding of Heb 10:26 is simple. There is no further sacrifice for sins. Jesus provided the only sacrifice, and if we don’t want that sacrifice, well – there’s nothing else. There is no further sacrifice for sins. That’s it; take it or leave it (but eventually you WILL decide to take it because the alternative simply makes no sense at all.) The fearful judgment (v.27) will consume the adversaries; it will not consume the beloved (the world for whom God gave His only begotten Son). The last adversary is death and that too will be consumed, leaving nothing but life!

Heb 6:4-6 is similar. WHILE the unrepentant one continues to crucify the Lord of Glory to him/herself a second time, holding Him up to shame, that person cannot be renewed to repentance (so don’t bother). Once s/he stops doing that, then is the time to work on drawing him/her back in. This particular passage talks about someone who has advanced farther in the life of discipleship than (I suspect) most of us have done. So for someone who isn’t turning his back on Jesus with full knowledge, it may in fact BE possible to woo that one back in even though s/he is presently in open rebellion.

Welcome to the group – and don’t pull your punches. If you have hard questions, or if an answer doesn’t satisfy you, say so. I think that someone here will have an answer to most of your questions, and if there are questions we don’t know the answers to, we’ll find the answers together.

Blessings, Cindy :slight_smile:

Thanks for welcoming me to the forum and for your reply Cindy.

I don’t think the verses in Hebrews are about the “unpardonable sin”. I have some ideas about the “unpardonable sin” (but that’s for another topic).

Is Heb 10:26 teaching salvation through faith and works? One thing I’ve considered is that maybe “sinning voluntarily” = bringing the Old Covenant activities into the New (see Galatians 5:2-4)…? Though I’m not sure the context supports such an interpretation.

I found Marvin Vincent’s commentary in his New Testament Word Studies a little helpful

Hi HopesForUR

Welcome to the forum. I was sad and glad when I read your past. Sad because my heart went out to you. I went through an almost identical experience to yours, drifted away from the faith for a few years, became pretty much an apostate. Then I was drawn back, starting going to church again, full of renewed faith and joy. Until one day, ‘surfing’ the Bible, I stumbled across the passages you quote. And I was panic stricken.

I was in such terror that those verses applied to me, and that I was therefore doomed to eternal damnation, that my parents had to arrange for me to see a pastor friend for counselling. Eventually, by God’s grace, the pastor’s kindness and a lot of Bible study, prayer and contemplation, I came to realise how absurd that whole idea was. The NT is full of unequivocal statements of God’s merciful, forgiving love. Over and over we are reassured by Jesus Himself. John 6:37, for example - “whoever comes to me I will never cast out”.

The great George MacDonald calls the idea that anyone can ever fall so far as to be beyond God’s mercy and forgiveness a “doctrine of devils”. And no less a giant of the faith than CS Lewis talked quite openly of his own youthful apostasy, from which he was gloriously restored by God.

And so I was glad when I read your post because suddenly all that pain and fear I went through had a meaning, a reason. If my testimony is of any help and comfort to you at all, which I pray it might be, then it will all have been worth it. God never creates our darkness, but He often uses it for good. And so in your present angst you have helped me too, helped me to lay an old ghost finally to rest.

I’m sure one of the scholars here will help you out with a detailed exegetical explanation of those verses - which were specifically written to Jews, don’t forget. But I am in absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they don’t mean what you’re worrying they might mean. If they did, that would make Jesus a liar, and that cannot be.

So please please don’t worry anymore friend. We all of us go through periods of doubt, denial even. Peter denied Jesus three times - and Jesus made Him the rock on which he founded His church. And of course, Jesus Himself cried out on the cross, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That single verse alone demolishes the very idea that God would somehow hold us permanently accountable for any temporary loss of faith.

Look forward to getting to know you.

All the best


Thanks Johnnypaker for welcoming me and sharing your experience.

I’m hoping that I too can see the idea as absurd. John 6:37 (along with John 5:24, Romans 9:33, Romans 10:13, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:39) seems somewhat hard to reconcile with the idea that someone could come to God and be rejected. Romans 11 too. Romans 11 seems to be a message of hope (boughs broken off in unbelief are able to be grafted in again), however, it doesn’t say that the boughs broken off ever were Christians. The prodigal son story is giving me the most hope.

That’s what I’m hoping for… if the verses don’t teach that a person has “one shot” to be a Christian, what are they teaching?

Wonderful news: I found an article that helped me quite a bit.

Edit: sorry, forgot to post the link

On Hebrews 10:26

On Hebrews 6:4-6

I don’t know if this writer’s understanding is correct, but it sounds plausible to me.

Yay! (I think that’s what I said, but your author said it in a far more scholarly way. :laughing: ) I am glad you found something that resonates with you!