Eternal issues at stake
For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. Hebrews 6:4-6 NLT
The best start does not guarantee spiritual progress. It can happen that a professing Christian will manifest a good standing at the beginning of his or her spiritual journey yet come to a point of denying his or her faith. “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). This is the concern of the writer of Hebrews from our text. The writer might sound harsh in his approach talking to people who used to be committed at the beginning yet came to a point in their life where they lost interest about spiritual matters. This is why the writer gave this stern warning: “it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—and who then turn away from God.” What he presents is not an exaggeration but a fact. What is at stake is crucial for it will mean eternal separation from God or eternal life in the presence of God. One can claim that he or she has been enlightened, experienced the good things from heaven, and have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and yet turn away from God. The Israelites in the Old Testament, before they were freed from bondage obeyed and understood the instruction regarding the last plague. They have experienced the goodness of God through His presence in their journey in the wilderness. God provided them assurance that He is not leaving nor forsaking them. They have tasted the daily provision God gave them through the manna. Yet, they were still overcome by their unbelief and hardened hearts that they did not place their trust in God. This is why they died and did not enter the Promised Land. It is very helpful in our part that the Word of God provides this kind of warning so we will take heed what He says and experience having the life of God within. Let us be sure that we have really come under the blessing of the gospel through the surrender of our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.