When I was young, there was a show called “Land of the Lost.” It was cheesy back then, and there have been many attempts at remakes, all with the same amount of cheesiness. The underlying theme is a family trapped in the past trying to return to the present. They have to navigate dinosaurs and living in the wilderness. Will they be lost for good? That is the tension of the show and what we find the today’s passage.
“For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”
This is one of the most controversial passages in all of the Bible. Can you lose your salvation? Most reformed people will scoff at this and rudely refer you to Romans 9. Others will cheer you on and say yes. If you take this passage at face value, you can’t argue that this person has experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, been moved by the power of God’s Word, and then fallen away. The challenge is that no mention of salvation is made. Each theological side will dig in its heels and declare itself right. The truth is only Jesus knows who is saved.
Lost for Good?
The scary part of this passage is the word “impossible.” There is a sense of finality, no turning back. That should scare anyone who has been “enlightened” and then walked away. Doing so removes the possibility of returning since it openly shames Christ again. Now we don’t know what the point of no return is, but the writer to the Hebrews is clear that there is a demarcation line. Christians would be wise to avoid it altogether. I don’t know your theological background on this topic, but this passage is in the inspired, infallible Word of God and needs to be considered.