Today is the day to step forward. Don’t step back. Some people on the doorstep of the kingdom of God and turning back and abandoning Jesus now is no option. There is no turning back. Enter a complete faith relationship with Jesus today…
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 away, to be brought back to repentance. 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.
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.
As we saw yesterday, Jesus makes sure that he doesn’t lose us, even though we often lose sight of him. That’s assuring to me because even though Jesus doesn’t move, we do. And messing up is not grounds for abandoning us – Jesus lived and died for us. This is the truth for those who are saved: those people who are counted by God as his children for eternity.
So what’s going on here in the situation of verses 4-8? How could it be that people can be enlightened, having a taste of the heavenly gift, even sharing in the Holy Spirit, and not be saved? There is an incredible closeness to the kingdom described in this language. I am not a greek scholar or even a greek student, yet I did try to dig into a cursory view of the language here.
What I see in these verses is someone who is so close, who is under the influence of the Holy Spirit, not from indwelling, yet perhaps part of his quickening of the heart and mind toward God.
The language around tasting the heavenly gift and partaking/sharing in the Holy Spirit is language that is very close to what a saved person experiences. The calling we have as believers is described as heavenly (same word) in other scripture. The sharing in the Spirit is the same word for sharing that is used elsewhere to describe how believers share in Jesus. And so we see that these are people on the doorstep of the kingdom. We find out in verse 9, however, that they do not step over the threshold.
Think about your life in light of this description. Where are you in relation to Jesus? Are you on the doorstep of the kingdom yet not entering? Are you just over the threshold? Or have you willingly entered into a full and trusting faith relationship with Jesus in which you surrender yourself fully to him?
And as the people in these verses hold back and then turn away from Jesus, described as falling away in verse 6, they bring Jesus into such disrepute that their return or full embracing of Jesus after would be re-crucifying the Lord. This cannot happen and is such an affront to the saving grace of God that they are finished with him. There is no turning back.
The falling away here is a term only used in this verse. It is a greek word which moves a person from being close-beside to being a defector – to abandoning what they were so close to. Judas comes to mind as a person who seems to have been in this closeness of relationship and then defected completely in ultimate betrayal. I’m not sure how often this level or intensity of betrayal happens with people who are on the doorstep of the kingdom, yet this is a position no one would ever want to be in.
So step forward. Don’t step back. Don’t find yourself so close to God and then hold back. And don’t betray his calling on your life in such a dramatic and impactful manner as Judas. The enemy is battling for your soul and will do anything to keep you from embracing the Holy Spirit’s call.
This is the time for self-reflection and submission to God. Turn over your life, live in Christ and give everything over to him in faith. Accept that he gave his life for you and your sin so that you can be acceptable to God. If you do this, you will belong to Jesus and he will never let you go.