He castigated people. (New Year's Sermon.) 'Lo, I am come to do Thy will. I promised God He would be the Lord of my life. The church in Enfield contained baptized unbelievers who were barred from the Lord’s Table. God has no plan B! Any system that teaches the loss of salvation or penance to restore it is contrary to God’s free grace in Christ. To speak about God’s terrifying future judgment is not pleasant, but it is necessary, since the Bible clearly teaches that it will happen. (3) A third view is that the author is warning true believers, who cannot possibly lose their salvation, about what would happen to them if they did apostatize (which true believers cannot do). IN mentioning those who forsake the assembling together of God's people, the writer has touched one of those sore places which, to him, are the symptom of imminent danger. Is it biblically correct to tell sinners, “God loves you” or should we (with Edwards) say, “God is angry with you”? 1: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His New Park Street Pulpit (365 Days With Series); edited by Terence Peter Crosby; (c) Day One Publications, 1998. (2Cor 5:17+). An apostate, however, is well acquainted with the gospel. What is apostasy and how can I recognize it? The Way into the Holiest. . Jonathan Edwards gave his people a whiff of the sulphurs of Hell that they might deeply inhale the fragrances of grace. ". Surely this was a small act, unlike murder or even theft. There is no new evidence or arguments to present. And so we have in the life of Charles Templeton, a man who surely experienced all of the attributes described in Hebrews 6:4-5 and yet he fell away from all he had experienced from 1936 to 1948, over 20 years of evangelizing for Christ! Wheelock reported to a friend that these "thoughtless and vain" people were changed before the sermon ended so that they were "bowed down with an awful conviction of their sin and danger. Had he believed, he would have become an apostle. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. It means to act contrary to the will and law of God. .” He stopped, then started again. When I stand on the platform and say, ‘God says,’ or ‘The Bible says,’ the Holy Spirit uses me. Spurgeon on no longer remains a sacrifice - How can there be? In 1957 after a long time of introspection he publicly declared himself to be an agnostic, someone who believes there is a God but cannot really know Him. But their interest in the things of God begins to wane, and the pressures and attractions of the world distract them further still, until they have no interest at all They may turn to another religion or to no religion at all. The National Association of Evangelicals in 1946 named Templeton one of the “best used of God.” So what happened? If we sin wilfully. the will of My Father Who is in heaven will enter. All that I can ever rely upon if I postpone all thoughts of faith—all is here already. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my readings. He turned his head and looked downward, raising his left hand to shield his face from me. Spurgeon also said (ibid., p. 146), “Think lightly of hell, and you will think lightly of the cross. (1 Th 5:19, Eph 4:30, Jdg 16:19,20), 17. While we smother our sin it rages within, and like a gathering wound swells horribly and torments terribly. This sin is a sin of premeditation, committed only by those who have had the advantage of great light. The knowledge the truth - This is not "gnosis" but "epignosis" (full knowledge - see below)! 39But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. In the will of God we have the union of His Wisdom and Power. Edwards' sermon made ten doctrinal points regarding the certainty of divine judgment for all who reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and among them I would identify the following: There is no want of power in God to cast men into hell at any moment… They deserve to be cast into hell; so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God's using his power at any moment to destroy them… They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell… They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell… There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell-fire, if it were not for God's restraints… It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand… All wicked men's pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment… God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise, to keep any natural man out of hell one moment [Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. He said that it’s better to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand than for your whole body to go to hell (Mt 5:29, 30). “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never (ABSOLUTE NEGATION - NEVER AT ANY POINT IN TIME - IN OTHER WORDS THESE ARE NOT FOLKS WHO WERE SAVED AND THEN LOST THEIR SALVATION! How will I respond to the light I have been given? Yet serious as their condition is, the possibility remains that all such people can be brought to repentance in one way or another. I HAVE, in several Discourses, shewn you, from plain and uncontestible Passages of the New Testament, what those Terms and Conditions are, upon which Almighty God will finally pardon, accept, and justify, those professed Christians, who have been, in any Sense, or any Degree, Several Discourses Concerning the Terms of Acceptance with God. Willfully (1596) (hekousios from hekousios = voluntary) means willing to do something without being forced or pressured. Had they received a distorted picture of Christianity there might have been hope, for one could correct the distortion. Consider Thomas Paine, the enemy of Christianity whose last hour came in 1809, finding him a disillusioned and unfulfilled individual who in his final moments declared…. That is, we do not deliberately set out to sin, but we know in ourselves that some deed or activity is wrong (at least for us, if not for everyone), yet we stifle our consciences and do it anyway. . 3. I can think of no text that offers a more sobering look at the final reality of playing Christian than the one before us. (1) The least likely view is the Arminian view, that our text describes true believers who sin and lose their salvation. As noted above, Paul associates the second appearance of Jesus with “blazing fire” and the punishment of those who do not know God or obey the gospel (2Th 1:8). And of course if they persist in sin and do not confess and repent, they will likely experience the discipline of God (see Hebrews 12:5-11). First, we will read, mark, and learn it; and then, secondly, we will ask God's grace that we may inwardly digest it. (Luke 21:25,26), Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and the terrifying expectation…, But Jesus turning to them said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 32:35, 36). They clearly understood the truth they had heard about Jesus. He was silent as to confession, but not as to sorrow. The first quote establishes God’s sole right to take vengeance, but here the emphasis is on the fact that those who wrong such a Being as God have no chance of escape. . Instead, the pastors went down among the the people and prayed with them in groups. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. This judgment was usually reserved for “big” sins, such as denial of the faith under persecution, murder, idolatry, and sexual sins. It refers to a mental process in which one proceeds to  take some action after thoughtfully weighing the options. Wuest: For if we go on sinning willfully after having received a full knowledge of the truth, no longer for sins does there remain a sacrifice. A captain of a ship, sailing between two harbours on a rocky coast, was once asked by an anxious passenger if the coast was not very dangerous. In 1936 at age of 19 Templeton after a night of partying experienced what he called a “profound change!” He said his life seemed “empty, wasted and sordid. . 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS," and he was called the friend of God. And at the end of the chapter (Heb 10:39+), the writer makes it clear that he considers himself a true believer by including himself in the "we" who do not "shrink back to destruction". It seems a common practice today for Christians to try to cover their sins. When the soul determines to lay low and plead guilty, absolution is near at hand; hence we read. By which will we have been sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.'--Heb. But when we assemble here on this day, we surely do so in the belief that everything pleasant and joyful in our working and social life during the past year, for which we have had to thank God, had its source in nothing but the spiritual good …Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher, The Death of the Saviour the End of all Sacrifices. No Small Deviations in God's Economy! knew (SPEAKS OF INTIMACY, FELLOWSHIP, ONENESS, COMMUNION) you; DEPART (command) FROM ME, (THEIR PRACTICE CONDEMNS THEM! Just think at what an expense the provision of salvation has been made.". If the Law of Moses had stiff penalties for disregarding it, the penalty will be much greater for spurning the Son of God who fulfilled the Law (Heb 10:28-29-note). The particular intellectual problem I was wrestling with, for the first time since my conversion as a teenager, was the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. Brad and Susan had four wonderful little boys ranging in age from two years up to ten years. The rack, the wheel, the flaming fagot are ease compared with the Tophet which a guilty conscience kindles within the breast: better suffer all the diseases which flesh is heir to, than lie under the crushing sense of the wrath of almighty God. It was not that there were no professing Christians in these villages. You don’t want to go there! (1Sa 28:19, 20), Belshazzar the king upon defiling the Lord's holy vessels suddenly saw a hand appear with handwriting on the palace wall and…, Then the king's face grew pale, and his thoughts alarmed him; and his hip joints went slack, and his knees began knocking together… 30 That same night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was slain. AFTER RECEIVING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH: meta to labein (AAN) ten epignosin tes aletheias ouketi peri hamartion apoleipetai (3PPPI) thusia: FULL KNOWLEDGE CONVEYS The Greek could be rendered, “a kind of fearful expectation.”(Hebrews Commentary online), Saul was an example of "willful sinning" in OT = see his terrifying expectation =, (Samuel who had died is supernaturally present and declares to Saul) Moreover the Lord will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. but forgets its Saviour, it goes hard with it indeed. Hebrews 10:1. Reprinted by permission. With that as an overview, let’s work through the text, which falls into three sections. I . In 1945 Templeton met Billy Graham and the two became friends, rooming and ministering together during a 1946 YFC evangelistic tour in Europe (Click to see the photographs and go to the bottom of the page to see how large the gatherings were). Although the Old Testament makes a distinction between deliberate and accidental sin, that does not appear to be the point being made in Hebrews, which looks at life from a perspective of Jesus’ already having come and died for sin. A deliberate sin is not to be taken lightly. 'You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. . This is the second difficult warning passage in Hebrews (Heb 6:4, 5, 6, 7, 8 was the other). Must never be ignored; Paul commanding believer to "make no provision (stop making provision - pronoia - present imperative with a negative) for the flesh in regard to its lusts." Picture a man lying in the gutter in rags, covered with sores, hungry and homeless. He describes such apostates by three phrases. Sin invites the discipline of God. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear.”. Apostates are those who move toward Christ, right up to the edge of saving belief, who hear and understand the Gospel, and are on the verge of saving faith, but then reject what they have learned and turn away. Briefly, The Apostle shews here the superiority of Christ's sacrifice over that of every other priest. 3. Young's Literal: but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers; BUT A CERTAIN TERRIFYING EXPECTATION OF JUDGMENT AND THE FURY OF A FIRE: phobera de tis ekdoche kriseos kai puros zelos: But - Stark contrast! You may wrong another person and somehow manage to escape his vengeance. It had survived fourteen lightning strikes and many years of Colorado winters, including avalanches and fires. Gotquestions has an interesting (if not disturbing) quote related to apostasy -, A recent example of this process is a 2010 study done by prominent atheist Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola called “Preachers Who Are Not Believers”. Scripture: Hebrews 10:32–35. This is a part of the description which God himself gave to Moses, of His own nature and attributes. (cf 1 Cor 5:9-13), 14. If these people were truly regenerate, how could God hypothetically cast them into hell if they hypothetically apostatized, none of which is possible? But God will repay! It also conveys the idea of an intimate and personal relationship than the simple term. It quoted John 3:16 as follows: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only be-gotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.” It omitted ´shall not perish! Apart from the many problems with non-lordship salvation, in our text the judgment is described as “the fury of a fire that will consume the adversaries” (Heb 10:27-note). Amen. And so we see a living example of Hebrews 6:4-6+! Before we were saved we chased after sin, but now that we are saved, sin chases after us! I again remind you that Jesus spoke more often about the terrors of hell than anyone else in the Bible. It describes an abiding state of willful, deliberate sinning! In 1986 he published his spiritual memoir entitled “Farewell to God – My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith.” In this book he described his pilgrimage from Christian faith to agnosticism to atheism. Vincent adds that this phrase is an adaptation from Isaiah 26:11. Scripture: Hebrews 3:12–14, Hebrews 10:23–25. The word deliberate (as an adjective) means that which is characterized by or results from careful and thorough consideration. The sermon was not new to Edwards since he had preached it previously in his own church of Northampton, MA. Now in v29, the one who would despise the person of Jesus and His ministry as High Priest is worthy of even greater judgment. In his writings he advocated adultery and suicide, and for more than 20 years he lived in licentiousness.