The Warnings of the Epistle to the Hebrews

Hebrews 6:4‑6  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 10
THE Epistle to the Hebrews deals with all on the broad ground of the profession of Christianity; and hence we get in it the solemn warnings in chapter vi. and x. These warnings are never given to shake the confidence of the weakest believer, as to the eternal security of those who are truly Christ's. Of this, there need not be the shadow of a doubt entertained by the feeblest child of God. Such _would never be the suggestion of the Spirit of God, but rather of the "evil heart of unbelief;" and should never for a moment be entertained or admitted into the heart, but rather treated as of the enemy.
In ch. 6:4-6 of this Epistle, we find enumerated the privileges which Christians enjoy in. virtue of the work and glorification of Christ. The things we find there belong to all professors of Christianity, without any question of individual state or conversion. Suppose a person to have been enlightened as to all these blessings, and to have been told of the effect of them on those who accepted them; and after all the treasuries of grace were thus exhausted, that there was no result, but rather a turning away from them and a holding on to that which could not bestow them -what more could one do? The result is in the hands of God alone.
Stony ground hearers, who heard the word with joy, and in time of temptation, fell away, come under this class. The natural affections are moved, the wondrous story of grace, hearkened to with admiration, and after all, there is no real result; the heart is like the barren ground that drinks the rain, and bears after all, only briars and thorns, and is good for nothing. These are they who had thus "tasted the good word of God."
The personal presence of God the Holy Ghost in the church-who is here consequent on the death and resurrection of Christ, and His ascension to God's right hand; renders all who have professed the name of Christ, "partakers" of His presence. (The true believer is sealed with the spirit, and his body the temple of the Holy Ghost-which is quite another thing.) The Holy Ghost is here to testify to Christ's finished work, and bear witness to sinners, that, through the work of Christ, God says, " Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more" (Heb. 10:1717And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 10:17)); yet how many thousands never believe His testimony-how many are the forms and systems of religion around, that never admit this wondrously blessed truth, and keep their votaries "tied and bound with the chain of their sins," while the Holy Ghost witnesses to us, that God will remember them no more forever.
"The powers of the world to come," are more the miracles performed by those who were so gifted; such as healing of sickness, and the casting out of devils-the two characters of miracles which were samples of the powers which, when Satan is bound, and cast into the bottomless pit, and the world filled with blessing, will characterize the millennial kingdom, or " world to come." Many of the Hebrew professors of Christianity had seen these things, or had perhaps been the subjects of them in their own bodies, and yet had no life in the soul. We learn, too, that many believed (by the evidence of their natural senses), when they 'saw the miracles that Jesus did in Jerusalem, and yet were without life. (John 2:23-2523Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (John 2:23‑25).) See also the case of Simon Magus in Acts 8, who "believed seeing the miracles," and "had neither part or lot in the matter."
Surely if those who are enlightened about all these things, turn from them to obtain, life or salvation by ordinances, or sacraments, or else; they are just in the position of a Hebrew who returned to Judaism after the revelation of Christianity. God has, so to speak, exhausted the treasuries of heaven, in the blessings He has bestowed, consequent upon the -death and resurrection and ascension of His Son; and if we have not accepted them with a thankful heart, and that we are practically ignoring the effect of His work, through our religion or ordinances, we are in effect " crucifying to ourselves the Son of God," i.e., we are like a Jew who returned to Judaism from the profession of Christianity, and thus identified himself with the sin of his nation, in crucifying Christ, when they said, "His blood be on us, and on our children."
"The prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself." (Prov. 22:33A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3).) He foresees the solemn results there will be to those who have been mere- lifeless, fruitless, professors of Christianity, and he sees to it, that it is not so with him. "The simple pass on, and are punished." (Prov. 22:33A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3).) The careless ones hear the warning, and turn a deaf ear to it. They pass on along the "broad road that leadeth to destruction;" unheeding the land marks and finger posts, so to say, that a gracious Lord, whose desire is, that none should perish, has so abundantly provided, and they will find when it is too late, where the broad road has conducted -them.
How sweetly the Apostle goes on to say, after all this solemn word of warning, "but beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation,. though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end." He saw in the fruitful lives of those amongst them', that which proved that it was more than a mere profession of the lip with them. "The things. that accompany salvation" were plainly to be seen. Things that while they are never a ground of confidence, never constitute salvation; they are sure to accompany a real reception of the "word," into an "honest and good heart." (Luke 8:1515But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15).)
The aspect of God's heart toward a poor sinner, is his confidence. It is His desire that none should perish. He is a Savior God. The Work of Christ is the sinners confidence, when he looks outside himself at Him as a Savior-the testimony of the Holy Ghost, through the Word of God, is the confidence of the poor sinner, who has none in himself. And depend upon it, he will find his life only too short to be a fruitbearing, earnest, devoted saint, when he has accepted this salvation from a Savior God, whose gift it is-the things that accompany this salvation will be seen in his life and ways. "God is not unrighteous to forget them"-while He is righteous in forgetting his sins and iniquities forever through the virtues of the finished work of His Son!