Today I will be teaching from what must be one of the hardest passages to understand in the letter to the Hebrews – Chapter 6:4-12. On the surface it seems to suggest that a person who believes in Jesus, but then slips away for a period, will never be able to be restored again. If that were the case, none of us, including myself, would have any hope of heaven.
As James says in chapter 3:2, we all stumble in many ways. It is the nature and grace of God to forgive and restore, to pardon and forgiven. He has rightly been called the God of the second chance. This nature of God to forgive the failings of His people and restore them, is a repeated theme of the O.T. God again and again restored the wayward Israelites.
Perhaps the best N.T. story of restoration is the account of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. The story tells of the wayward son who asks for his inheritance early and then goes off to live a life of decadence and corruption. Then, when the family inheritance has been squandered, he decides to return to his Father’s house, not as a son, but as a servant. The father, however, is shown to be waiting for his wayward son and on seeing him, runs to embrace him and welcome him home, not as a servant, but a son.
This is, and always remains, the character and heart of God. He forgives, restores, pardons, and gives second chances to the least deserving.
As I explore this difficult passage today, it will emerge that all those who are truly saved, are sons and daughters of God and therefore are secure and safe for all eternity. However, those who remain unsaved and on the outside looking in, remaining undecided, are in grave danger because of their unresponsive hearts.