This is a question about Hebrew 6:6. If an apostate realizes the errors in his way and comes back to the religion, truly repents, and confesses; does this verse say that God will not forgive that person and that the person is permanently condemned?


Your question is based on a premise which, according to Hebrews 6 is not a possibility. Please allow me to explain. What God tells us in Hebrews 6:4-6 is “For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, taasted God’s god word and the powers of the coming age, and how have fallen away, because to their own harm, they are recrucifying teh Son o f God, and holding Him up to contempt. In other words, if a Christian falls away in the sense described in Hebrews 6, then it is impossible for them to be renewed to repentance. Your question, in essence, is something like this: “If a person who falls away from God truly repents, then will they go to hell even though they repented?” The answer is that if a person falls away in the sense being described in Hebrews 6, then they cannot be renewed to repentance, so your scenario is not possible.

I believe that God is amazingly patient with those who are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, but his patience is not infinite. Hebrews 10:26-31 tells us that for those who continue willfully in sin, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearlful expectation of God’s wrath. How do we know of someone has fallen away? The answer is that we cannot know for sure. What I can say for sure, however, is that if a person is renewed to repentance, then God has not taken his Holy Spirit from that person and he or she has not fallen away–at least not in the sense we find in Hebrews 6:4-6.

A person who has fallen away cannot be renewed to repentance. Therefore, your scenario is not possible. Another wayto put this is that perhaps you should consider using different phrasaeology. A better way to put it might be as follows. If a person has been unfaithful to his or her commitment to God, but comes back and is renewed to repentance, then he or she has not fallen away. He or she struggled spiritually, but God’s patience was sufficient for them to come back to their faith.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes

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