**I’ve said this before, but this time it will be enforced. Any and all further comments that do not deal DIRECTLY with the text of this post WILL BE DELETED. I will not give any thought to how long the comment is or how long it took to type it. And don’t try to post some long comment, with Hebrews 6:4-6 tacked on peripherally. This is final**
When dialoging with Arminians and others who teach that a person can be “lost” after they have been truly born again, one of their pet passages is Hebrews 6:4-6—4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Now, at face value, it does sound like the writer of Hebrews (hereafter referred to as “The Writer”) is saying that a person can be saved and then fall away to the point that they cannot be saved again. But is that really what Writer is saying? No, it isn’t, and we will see why.
The first thing we must do in order to study this passage properly is to get rid of the chapter and verse divisions and any paragraph formatting. While these tools help us to find where certain passages are located, they were not in the original manuscripts and can, more often than not, interfere with our understanding of Scripture. What happens, many times, is our mind sees the numbers, separates Scripture from Scripture, and we put up mental walls around the texts and chop them up into separate thoughts, rather then seeing the constant, continuous flow of thought the writer intended. We also tend to chop paragraphs apart from each other, instead of seeing that the author was writing one long paragraph (for example, Ephesians chapter 1 is actually one long paragraph, rather than a bunch of smaller ones).
That said, in order to understand what The Writer is saying in Hebrews 6:4-6, we actually need to go back and start at chapter 5, verse 12 and read through chapter 6, verse 8. So, here is Hebrews 5:12-6:8, with no breaks–
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.