Friday, March 10, 2017


These are some sobering verses.

"For in the case of those who have tasted of the heavenly gift
and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God
and the powers of the age to come,
and then have fallen away,
it is impossible to renew them again to repentance,
since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God
and put Him to open shame."

This then is the fault line dividing our Wesleyan theology as opposed to Calvinism.
"Can we lose our salvation?"

Lose my salvation?  Oops, I know I put it around here somewhere...No that's not what is meant, an accidental lapse or misplacement. Of course, it is not safe to be sloppy,  careless with our salvation.  It is a reminder of the precious sacrifice our Lord made.  It is also a reminder of the joys we have shared.  We can not afford to become lukewarm, spittle in the mouth of our Lord.  This is not speaking of a slip of backsliding, but is of a total rejection of Truth, once previously embraced.

"The argument is one of unspeakable war, it is so often said: there is no safety but in advance.  To stand still is to go back.  To cease effort is to lose ground. To slacken the pace, before the goal is reached is to lose the race.  The only sure mark of our really loving Christ, is the deep longing and the steady effort to know more of Him...'Let us press on to perfection.'"
(Andrew Murray)

John Wesley is eloquent on these verses.  "With the light of the glorious love of God in Christ, and have tasted the heavenly gift--remission of sins, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, and have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost--Of the witness and the fruit of the Spirit.  'And have tasted the good word of God--Have had a relish for, and a delight in it, and the powers of the world to come--which every one tastes who has a hope full of immortality..."

"'And have fallen away'--Here is not a supposition, but a plain relation of fact.  The apostle here describes the case of those who have cast away both the power and form of godliness; who have lost both their faith, hope, and love, , and that willfully,  (chapter 10:20).  Of these willful, total apostates, he declares it is impossible to renew them again to repentance...either to the foundation, or anything built thereon; 'seeing they crucify the Son of God afresh'--They use Him with the utmost indignity, and put Him to an open shame--Causing His glorious name to be blasphemed."

Adam Clarke says, "'For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened.'  He states he does not believe this is in reference to backsliders.  Rather "They belong to apostates from Christianity; to such as reject the whole Christian system, and its author, the Lord Jesus.  And to those of them only who join with the blaspheming Jews, call Christ an impostor, and vindicate His murderers in having crucified Him as a malefactor; and thus they render their salvation impossible, by willfully and maliciously rejecting the Lord that bought them."

Remember, this letter is written to the Hebrew Christians.  We would call them Messianic Jews now days.  Adam Clarke goes on, "The design of these solemn words is evidently, First, to show the Hebrews that apostasy from the highest degrees of grace was possible; and that those who were highest in the favour of God might sin against Him, and lose it, and perish everlasting.  Secondly, to warn them against such an awful state of perdition, that they might not be led away...And Thirdly, to point out the destruction which was shortly to come upon the Jewish nation."

"'Once enlightened--Thoroughly instructed...having received the knowledge of the truth (chap. 10:32); and being convinced of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and led to Jesus the Saviour of sinners.  'Tasted of the heavenly gift'  Having received the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins, through the Day Spring which from on high had visited them; such having received Christ, the heavenly gift of God's infinite love, (John 3:16); the living bread that came down from heaven, (John 6:51); and thus tasting that the Lord is gracious (I Peter, 2:3), and witnessing the full effects of the Christian religion."

"'Partakers of the Holy Ghost,' The Spirit Himself witnessing with their spirits that they were the children of God, and thus assuring them of God's mercy towards them, and of the efficacy of the atonement through which they had received such blessings."

"And have tasted the good word of God' Have had this proof of the excellence of the promise of God in sending the Gospel, this Gospel being itself the good word of a good God...sweet to the taste of their souls.  Genuine believers have an appetite for the words of God; they taste it, and then their relish for it is the more abundantly increased. The more they get, the more they wish to have."

"'The powers of the world to come' ...the foretastes of eternal blessedness, or the joys of the world to come, which they who are justified through the blood of the covenant, and walk faithfully with their God, experience."

"'If they shall fall away.'  There is a fearful possibility of falling away from the grace of God...'let him who most assuredly standeth, take heed lest he fall.'

"To renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God'  They reject Him on the ground that He was an impostor, and justly put to death.  And thus they are said to crucify Him to themselves--to do that in their present apostasy which the Jews did; and they show thereby that, had they been present when He was crucified, they would have joined His murderers...This shows that it is final apostasy, by the total rejection of the Gospel, and blasphemy of the Saviour of men."

However, you look at it, you don't want to go there.  You don't even want to go to the edge.  You don't want to toy with sitting on a fence.  As dangerous as that is, this is about one who has crossed the line and walked away.  This is no accidental losing of salvation, not an oops moment like when you realize that you have grieved the Father and you run back to Him to say you're sorry.  These have fallen away, have walked away, have divorced themselves once and for all from God.  The only one Jesus cannot save is the one who wills it so.

You see, there is the Lamb's Book of Life which is spoken of from Genesis to Revelation.  Moses spoke of being blotted out, as was spoken of in several other places in Scripture.  Then Rev. 3:5 says, "He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."  Then in Rev. 21:27, "and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."  You don't want to be blotted out or erased.  I rather think our names are written in red, in the blood of the Lamb.

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