For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened — those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come — and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. – Hebrews 6:4-6
This passage of Scripture was the object of a study I completed a long time ago in Seminary. It raises the question of how God reacts/responds when a person ignores His grace and effectively tramples it underfoot. Can God be seriously offended, to the point where He might withdraw His grace?
In my opinion, there are certainly times when God SHOULD be offended, but then again I am not God, nor am I His Son and, for me, in this situation, the Cross of Christ clarifies everything. You see, God’s grace is limitless. LIMITLESS. Infinitesimal (that’s right, HUGE). No one is able to sin himself out of God’s grace, so this should not be a concern. Christ’s sacrifice paid the price for ALL my sin (past, present, and future). He knew it all and He died for it all.
The real danger lies elsewhere. For once a person has rejected that ENORMOUS grace … effectively trampled it underfoot, his/her heart may become hardened to the point that he/she cannot be renewed again to repentance and, let’s face it, an unrepentant saint is of no use to the Savior. This fits the context and loudly blares the warning, “Oh, please dear one, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART or God just might bring you on home.”
Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self. – Francis of Assisi
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
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