IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY
July 1, 1986 Issue
by Terry Baze
As there is no greater joy than to see one obey the gospel and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, there is no greater sorrow than to hear of a brother or sister in Christ who has left the fold. Sadly, such is the case far too often and we search for explanations as to why anyone could leave our precious Lord and forsake the unspeakable blessings God bestows on us his children. Regardless of the reasons one leaves the truth, we can only wonder if the person fully realizes what he or she has done? The object of this article is to make one keenly aware of the consequences of falling away. If you have left the church and read this, I want you to realize the full impact of what you have done. I also want to drive any thoughts from the mind of any who may be contemplating leaving the truth. What does God have to say to such an individual?
I. Heb 10:26-31-please read these verses. (For the sake of brevity we will not copy them here.)
We learn that the one who sins willfully" after having received the knowledge of the truth has been guilty of "trodding under foot the Son of God", "counted the blood of the covenant...an unholy thing" and "done despite unto the Spirit of grace". Let's consider these serious charges;
A. Trod under foot the Son of God-
To trod anything under foot, so to speak, is to take it lightly without concern, ignoring its significance with a defiant attitude. Imagine how God feels when someone defiantly ignores or rejects His precious son whom He gave to sinful man to redeem him from his sins. If you fall away, you are guilty of blatantly telling God that you don't care about what He did in giving His son.
B. Count the blood of the covenant unholy-
If there is anything "holy", it must be the blood of Jesus that He shed for the remission of our sins. If that is not holy, nothing is. If you fall away, you declare that the blood of Jesus is worthless as far as you are concerned. His blood was shed in vain and accomplished nothing.
C. Despise the Spirit of grace-
To despise something is to hold it in contempt or to scorn it. If you fall away, you hold the grace of God in contempt. You scorn the love He has for you and the sacrifice of Jesus His son.
One guilty Of such charges faces the wrathful vengeance of the almighty God. This passage tells us that "there is no more sacrifice for sin" for that individual. He has despised the only one that was made. He will be punished worse than one who was punished under Moses law, without mercy. Now I ask you, is this really what you want? Do you realize what you have done?
II. Heb 6:4-6- please read.
We learn of an individual here, of whom it is said that "it is impossible to renew him again to repentance". Why is it impossible?
A. It is impossible to renew one to repentance when he gets to the point where God gives him up over to his sin (Ro 1:24,28 2 Th 2:11,12 Gen 6:3, Num 15:30,31, Pro 1:24-32). There is such a point.
B. There is a point of no return, when one will not repent of his sins. He then is hopeless, beyond help, for he has rejected the only thing that could save him.
C. 1 Jn 5:15,16- read.
We learn some interesting things from these verses;
1. a child of God can sin.
2. there is a sin not unto death.
3. pray for those thus sinning.
4. there is a sin unto death.
5. no need to pray for it.
No single sin is here in mind, simply sin in general. The sin is such that a brother could discern it. The death referred to is spiritual death. It is a sin that only a brother is guilty of. To what type of sin does John refer to?
John says much about sin and its forgiveness in this epistle. All Christians sin- 1:8-10. Sins origin is related- 3:8. The means by which sin is avoided- 3:9. In the event of sin, there is an Advocate with the Father- 2:1. There is the promise that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness; 1:8.
All of this clarifies 5:16;
1. The Lord will forgive every sin, of whatever nature, that a brother confesses- 1 8.
2. There is, however, a sin which the Lord will not forgive-5:16
3. Therefore, the sin which the Lord will not forgive, is simply a sin, any sin that a brother will not confess.
D. The individual is charged here with two things,
1. crucifying the son of God afresh.
2. putting him to an open shame.
This is to profess that Christ deserved to die and be crucified as an imposter. Christ is dead to such an individual. He has cut off prayer and repentance from his life. He has replaced Christian fellowship with that of the world. Instead of growing in grace and knowledge, he is sinking deeper and deeper into sin.
He brings shame on Christ and the church. He makes Christianity appear powerless and worthless. He makes a joke of it all Peter states that it would have been better for such an one to have never known the truth, than to know it and later turn from it (2 Pet 2:19-22).
Can anyone fail to see the horrible consequences of falling away from the truth? Can one ignore what he has done to the Father? Is one prepared to accept guilt for the charges God makes to him? Don't you realize that there is the possibility of getting to the point of no return where God gives one up to his sins? Is that what you want? Is that the direction you are headed? Won't you turn back before it is too late? Don't you see what you have done?
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