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.
Is falling away from our faith a danger for Christians? Throughout the whole book of Hebrews we are warned to be careful, that falling away is a dangerous possibility. Here are two good examples:
Hebrews 10:26-27 (NIV)
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Hebrews 10:36 (NIV)
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
When it talks about “falling away” it suggests a runner dropping out of a race, veering off the track and giving up. The Hebrews would have understood that as a picture of abandoning their faith.
Can people “drop out” to the point that there is no longer any hope for their salvation? Some think so and point out that only God knows when a person’s persistent disobedience will bring such judgment upon to that person. In the book of Hebrews, it talks about the Israelites being in the desert as the primary example. The book shows that judgment came only after God had tolerated many rebellions on the Israelites part. Paul’s concern for his readers suggests that they were dangerously close to crossing the line to where it would have been impossible for them to start over.
Other people read these warnings differently, though. Those people insist that Christians are eternally secure and can’t fall from grace, so these words are intended for those who have merely tasted God’s grace, but have not truly believed.
Whatever way you interpret this, those who fall away are not those who merely stumble in the race. Christians may have moments of weakness or temporary lapses in their faith. They may stumble and then, by God’s grace, they return again to the Lord. But those who fall away are those who remain unrepentant and persist in their rebellion against God. A good example of this would be those who crucified Jesus.
As humans, we are flawed by nature and we always seem to find a way to mess things up time and time again. When we do mess up, it is important that we turn to God and ask His forgiveness. God loves us and like any good Father, He wants the very best for us. He will forgive us and because Jesus already paid our debt to sin, we can let our sins go and move on and try to do better in the future. We can live life with the security of knowing that God will always be there, even when we do mess up.