Seven Views On Apostasy From Hebrews 6:1-6

February 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

no u-turn

On Wednesday evenings at Victory Church I'm teaching through the Book of Jude. Jude exhorts us as believers to "contend for the faith!"  One of the reasons to "contend for the faith" is because apostasy exists.  Therefore, I've been studying on apostasy in Scripture and came across once again this great passage in Hebrews 6:1-12.

I have been mediating on this passage of Scripture all week.  I have spent time praying over it, reading a variety of commentaries on it, wrestling with it, and doing word studies through the passage.  I'm mentally exhausted, but spiritually revived!

Let me explain.  I was raised Southern Baptist, educated at an Independent Baptist College, and ordained a Free Will Baptist.  Twenty-six years ago, when I felt the Lord calling me into ministry, I had to make a decision on which denomination I was going to spend the rest of my life serving.  Yes, you guessed it! It all came down to this passage of Scripture and others like it.

Well, I made my choice. I could not reason away what I was discovering in this particular passage, therefore, I identified with the Armenian group, the Free Will Baptist.  And with no regrets I might add!

I was reading this week in the Randall House Commentary by Dr. Stanley Outlaw.  Dr Outlaw shares seven different views on Hebrews 6:1-6:

  1. Those described are “professors” of salvation in Christ, but not genuine “possessors” of that salvation.
  2. Those described were “regenerate”, but not “elect”.
  3. Those described are genuinely saved people who receive a serious warning about apostasy as a preventive measure, but the whole thing is “hypothetical” since believers are eternally secure.
  4. Those described are saved people, but the writer is speaking about “loss of rewards” and not “loss of salvation”.
  5. The sin of apostasy spoken of here involves a special situation which could not be repeated today.
  6. Those described are saved people who are on the verge of apostasy, but even if they proceed into apostasy, they could come back to God, not through any human effort, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Those described are saved people who are seriously backslidden in their spiritual lives, and if they continue to the point of apostasy, they will be eternally lost since they have sinned against the Holy Spirit.

(The seventh view is the one I seem to believe fits the best within the context of the Scripture.  Therefore, this is the view for which I adhere.)

Many have asked me through the years about the "unpardonable sin" the sin of unbelief, the sin against the Holy Spirit.

I believe the sin against the Holy Spirit can be committed by both unsaved people - who constantly and willfully reject the obvious truth of the Gospel, and by saved people who also constantly and willfully turn their back on Christ to the point of final apostasy.

One final thought: You may be wondering if you have committed apostasy.  Well, just the fact you are questioning, pondering, and thinking about your relationship with God is a sure sign you have not committed apostasy.  Once you do, there is no coming back.  Why? Because those who commit apostasy:

  • Have turned off their consciences long enough that they no longer feel guilt.
  • No longer feel sorry for their sin — they are enjoying it too much. 
  • Have ears that have become dull to the voice of God. 
  • Have eyes that have become blind to his goodness and mercy. 
  • Have hearts that have become so calloused that they could no longer respond to the love of God.

Apostasy is a willful decision, and a deliberate choice, an abandonment to the things of God which are made with your own conscious.


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