Hebrews 6:6-10
Heb 6:6 (KJB)
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
If they shall fall away
This phrase should be translated “and having fallen away.” It is an Aorist tense which means the action happened in the past and continues for an undetermined amount of time. This word is used once in the New Testament and it carries with it the meaning of willful and deliberate. The word “Parapipto” also means to “commit apostasy.” These people are falling away not because they have fallen into sin, but because they are still willful sinners. How many unbelievers go to church on Sunday morning, and continue in their sins right after they leave church? All of them, because if they have not been regenerated by God, then they are still fallen away or unsaved.
to renew them again unto repentance
The term “renew” carries with it the meaning of “restoring to a former condition.” This is the only time this word is used in the New Testament. The group in view here are unbelievers. The term “repentance” is only used in connection with those who are saved. Repentance is something that is done as a result of salvation and not prior to salvation. Here we are reading that it is impossible to renew them to repentance. Even those who believe the Arminian error believe a person can get their salvation back. Those who proclaim the Doctrines of Grace believe you cannot lose your salvation. So what we have in view is that those who are in willful sin cannot come into salvation by themselves through repentance, unless God saves them first. Until then, when the unbeliever is under the hearing of the gospel and that proclamation is finished, they are then returned from experiencing spiritual things to their former condition which is sin. The difference is when they were in church, they were religious sinners. Outside of the hearing of the gospel, they are just plain unregenerate sinners. One other thing, if they are not God’s elect, then they can never come into salvation.
seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Here is the unbeliever’s only respect for Jesus. If they could crucify Him again and put Him to open shame again, they would. The unbeliever does not show any reverence or respect for the Lord Jesus instead they show contempt. When they sit in church and hear the hymns being sung or the organ being played, they experience a spiritual euphoria. When the preacher begins to expound the Scriptures and teaches that Christ wants total commitment even unto death, that is when unbelief draws the line. When Jesus is taught that he loves everyone that doctrine is palatable to the unbeliever. When Jesus is being taught that He does not love everyone, and everyone outside of salvation is going to hell, then that is where unbelief draws the line. This closing section seals the fact that these three verses are not dealing with those who have lost their salvation, but for those who are still living in an unregenerate state.
Heb 6:7 (KJB)
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
The parable of the sower is probably in view here and in the next verse as we see principles of agriculture. (Matthew 13:18-23) This verse is teaching us that the rain which comes down to the earth and goes into the earth nourishes the plants of them who have planted the vineyard. This is considered a blessing from God when there is an abundance of herbs. This is akin to those who hear the Gospel, become saved, and are nourished by the Water of the Word so that they continue to grow in the faith. Remember in the last chapter, the writer was speaking of those who were too immature for strong meat. Here he speaks about the water of the Word growing a Christian to be able to take strong meat.
Heb 6:8 (KJB)
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Briers - Thistle
Rejected - Unworthy or disqualified
The other side of the parable are those plants which do not bear any fruits. What is mentioned here are thorns and thistles. A thistle is a very thorny plant with a nicely colored flower on top. In a vineyard, thistles and other thorn bearing plants are rejected because they tend to take up the nourishment from the other plants and therefore they are to be rejected because of their unworthiness. The problem with a thistle plant is that the flower on top makes it look pretty but if you grab the plant, you will be screaming from the thorns on it. It is like someone who claims to be saved, they will have the flower of salvation on them but inwardly they will be like the thistle plant with all its thorns. Let us go back to the Old Testament for a moment and look at what thorns represent.
(Josh 23:13 KJV) Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
(Judg 2:3 KJV) Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
In Joshua 23:13 and Judges 2:3 we read about the unbelievers, the Canaanites would be thorns in the flesh of the Israelites if they did not drive them out of the land. Unfortunately they did not drive them out and they harassed the Israelites. This is the picture of what is in view in Heb 6:9. This is why those plants (unbelievers) with the thorns must be pulled out or they could infect all the good plants. The writer to the Hebrews is making that distinction because he knows there are those who want to bring the true believer back under the Mosaic law and those are the thorny plants which will try to choke the good plants. If there is no separation of the two groups, an amalgamation could take place and infect all the believers. This same scenario is in the churches today. Those who bring in false gospels are welcomed with open arms and those who bring the truth are normally escorted out. The thorns in the churches need to be pulled up and removed from the vineyard of the good plants. Churches which fail to do this will pay a dear price for their laxity.
Heb 6:9 (KJB)
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Persuaded - Convinced
The writer to the Hebrews is making it clear that he was addressing the unbelievers in the previous section as he states in verse 9, that “we are persuaded better things of you. He is showing the distinction between the two groups. The group in verse 9 is associated with the things that accompany salvation and the group in verses 4-6 are associated with the things that accompany “religious unbelief.”
As we looked at these passages, there was absolutely no intimation that salvation was in view. The Holy Spirit was not indwelling these people but the people were partaking. This was an action on their part, not God’s, which means that salvation could not happen to this group unless God initiated it. The group in view was definitely one of unbelieving apostates. The language of those verses do not indicate in the least, that anyone in view was ever previously saved.
Heb 6:10 (KJB)
For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Apparently there had been some Christians who felt that since they were bringing the true Gospel and had ministered to the Saints, they were forgotten by the church. The writer wants to assure his readers and us that even though Christians or the church may forget about the work we do, or even take it for granted, that God is not unrighteous, as man is, to forget about all the works and the labor of love that a Christian has done in His name in ministering to the Saints and also evangelizing the lost. He also wants to encourage the Christian that the works which we do are not for the purpose of self-promotion but must be to the Glory of God. The life of a Christian does not just minister once or twice but is a continuous life of ministry as the last three words in this verse read, “and do minister.” These words are in the present tense which means a continuing life of service. Even if we minister in the deep background and nobody even knows our name, God does. You may work in a ministry in the area of the mailroom. God sees that type of ministry as valuable and strategic as the one who heads the ministry, so we must never be discouraged as to the type of ministry we have because it is all part of God’s plan and purpose for us. We are to remain faithful in whatever ministry we are given.