Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 6

Is there anyone whom God cannot forgive?

Hebrews 6:4-6

In a few places, the author of Hebrews warns his readers in a very severe manner. It is not pleasant to read such things. But it is necessary for us to be aware of them. The same God who offers us heaven also warns us about hell. The Bible tells us about Godís anger as well as his love.

The author does not give any names here. But elsewhere, the Bible does give the names of people who have done this terrible thing. There was Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:16-20. Judas chose to oppose Christ for his own benefit. There were Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). They chose to lie to the Holy Spirit. And Jude wrote about certain men who were behaving like Cain, Balaam and Korah (Jude 11-13).

Many Christians would say that such a person never really had a relationship with God. But the author of Hebrews is very clear. He is not describing people who never knew God. Godís light (that is, the knowledge of God) was in their lives. These people received the gift that God gives. They shared in Godís Holy Spirit. These words are very similar to the words that the author used in Hebrews 3:1. We looked at the importance of the word Ďsharerí when we studied Hebrews 3:14.

So these people had an experience of Godís word. And they had an experience of Godís power in their lives. That is what Hebrews 6:6 says.

But they Ďfellí. The author uses the same word that the Greek (language) translation of Ezekiel 18:24 uses. It means that they turned away from God completely. They did not want to serve God any longer. They had seen what God had to offer. But they preferred to serve the devil. This was not an accident Ė they did it on purpose.

The author says that such people cannot ever return to God. They are certain to go to hell. Their actions are as terrible as if they had put Christ on the cross again.

It is not simply that these people have done wicked acts. God can forgive the most wicked acts that people do (Exodus 34:7). David stole another manís wife and then he murdered that man. But God forgave him (2 Samuel 12:13).

So God forgives our wicked deeds if we humbly confess them to him (1 John 1:9). He does it because Jesus speaks on our behalf to the Father (1 John 2:1). His death was enough for God to forgive all the evil things that people do (1 John 2:2).

But we have been studying about people who will never do that. They have become so wicked that they do not even want God to forgive them. They chose to serve the devil instead of God. They chose to go to hell instead of heaven. They chose death instead of life.

It is right for us to feel fear when we read about such terrible things. But we ought not to feel hopeless. Sometimes people have thought that God cannot forgive them. But God has promised to forgive because of Jesusí death. If God cannot forgive, his promise is without value. And if God cannot forgive, Jesus died in vain.

However, God can forgive and he does forgive. So people must confess their evil deeds to God. They must invite Christ into their lives and they must trust him. By this means, God forgives even the most wicked people. And he will do it so long as they return to him. But he cannot forgive anyone who does not have sincere and humble attitudes towards him.

Next part: How people react to Godís goodness (Hebrews 6:7-8)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.