Does Hebrews 6 really mean you can lose your salvation?

James Preston Reply 7:30 AM
Hebrews 6 is one of the most common passages of Scripture raised against the argument for "Eternal Security". What I find so interesting is that the people who raise it don't seem to know any other verses in Hebrews (besides maybe chapter 10:26 - which if you like I can help you with next week). The book is all about how powerful Christ's sacrifice was, and how much it means to humanity.

Over and over again His sacrifice is declared as a "sacrifice for sins for all time" done "once and for all" and "making people holy forever"! These are huge promises quite remarkably overlooked by those who believe we can lose our salvation.

Let it be said, I have no problem with those who believe our salvation is "losable". I love you all the same. I just believe in something different, and while presenting my perspective on the Scriptures, respect your view entirely.

This isn't a debate or an argument. It is perspective. One that I hope encourages you and brings faith to your heart. I believe the Gospel should encourage you, and make you feel secure.

So if you've ever read Hebrews 6 (or any other passage for that matter) and felt insecure, then allow this perspective to bring hope to your heart. The very reason Christ came, to bring hope to mankind!

Without further adew, here is my perspective on the seemingly challenging verses of Hebrews 6. Before we go there, though, let's start quite a bit earlier and get the entire passage in its context...


Hebrews 5:9 - 6:30
and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (I love this!! This verse clearly says our salvation is ETERNAL!) 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away 
 11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

As you can tell by the Book's Title, the book of Hebrews is written to a church of Jewish believers, with a rich Jewish heritage. These were Jews who had heard the Gospel, but had rejected it and returned to Jewish customs and sacrifices. Hence the constant reminder throughout the book that Christ is now the Final High Priest, who already made ONE sacrifice FOR ALL TIME ONCE AND FOR ALL

Here in 5:11, the author says that these Jews no longer tried to understand him or his message. They had become uninterested in the Gospel, and too proud to listen any further.




14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[c] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[e] away, to be brought back to repentance.

This has been a key translation in the Bible which has created entire theologies around "falling away". This is a great tragedy, because its Greek words "fall away"(parapesontas - G3895) and "brought back" (anakainizein - G340) are only ever used ONCE in the ENTIRE Scripture! ONCE!!! AND! More than that! It is better interpreted as "error" (not "fall away") and "renew/renovate" (not brought back).

On top of all this, the Greek word for "impossible" (G102 - adunaton) is interpreted elsewhere in Scripture as "weak or impotent". It can also be translated as "unable".

With all this in mind, in the context of the entire book of Hebrews, this is the message this passage is conveying:


If the Jewish People, who were the first to receive salvation, the first to hear the Gospel, the first to even experience the Holy Spirit; after all that go back to animal sacrifice and the Jewish religious sacrificial system, it is impossible for them to be renewed, or renovated. In other words: It is impossible to be saved relying on the Sacrificial System instead of Christ's ultimate Sacrifice!


And by going back to the Jewish sacrificial system they are mocking the son of God. They are doing what the Jewish court did on the fateful day of Calvary, they are rejecting Christ as their Saviour, and actually subjecting Him to public disgrace by doing so.


To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.


In Matthew 13 Jesus refers to hearts as ground. And the Kingdom of God like the seed. We know that our hearts are changed at the reception of the Gospel (Ezekiel 36:36), and so, verses 7 and 8 are referring to those who have received the Gospel and have changed to fruitful ground (verse 7) and those that have heard the Gospel but rejected it (verse 8) are in danger of being burned in the end. You can hear the author's message in the book:" "So receive Christ's ultimate sacrifice while you still can!"


9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (It is amazing how verses like these are so often overlooked in such "pro-falling away" arguments. Here the author says "in their case, they are convinced that such things don't apply to them anyway!" And that God will not forget their love for Him!)

11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Crossing over from Judaism to Christianity was a HUGE deal!! It was ludicrously unheard of (especially to Jews!) that there was now no need for sacrifices, and we were made Holy Once and for all. So the author is encouraging his readers to not give up on this amazing Gospel, and not go back to the Old Covenant-based Sacrificial system in order to be cleansed and gain salvation, because Christ has now done once and for all.

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So you see, difficult passages like these can easily be interpreted when we take the entire message of the book (and the Bible!) in its context. We must remember that the message of the Bible is one of redemption and hope for mankind, and just how much God loves His children. Which is why Martin Luther suggested John 3:16 as the perfect summary of the entire Scripture!

Be encouraged today my friend. Your salvation is secure! God Loves you unconditionally, and He will never let you go!

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