It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 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. 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. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. – Hebrews 6:4-8
“Falling away” is the topic of today’s passage. The central idea is that once you have experienced the “heavenly gift” it is impossible to truly “fall away” and return to your state of repentance. This is turbulent water for sure as we are all flawed followers in need of continual redemption and repentance.
The idea is that once we have accepted Christ, and begun our journey home, we never get “lost” along the way. Honestly this has not been my experience and I have spoken with many other faithful followers who have had their share of difficult roads and dry times. I think the author’s point here is that we need to acknowledge when we stumble and realize the weight and consequences of our actions.
The author goes as far as saying “they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” So our sidetracks and stumbles are compared to choosing to crucify Christ all over again, pretty serious stuff. I am confident God loves us just as He loved even those who were crucifying Him, but that does not let us off the need to choose wisely.
Then comes the water reference “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”. The idea of God being associated with rain shows up many times in the old and new testaments. The common theme of many of these references is that we are tender plants, and God is the father of the rain. The purpose of Rain is to help us to grow and eventually produce good fruit.
If the end result of receiving God’s blessings is a life that “produces thorns and thistles” than we have a problem. We are “in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.” This is not a result of God’s wrath but rather our willful separation from Him and the decisions of our daily lives. We need to consciously plant ourselves near the Spring of Living Water so that our roots are strong and the Master Gardener can use us to produce amazing fruits.
Prayer: God help us to appreciate the magnitude of when we fall short but never lose sight of the grace you extend.