“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” (Hebrews 6:4-6).
Few sentences in Scripture pack a more powerful and pungent punch. It is a horrific portrait of apostasy. This is not a description of something imaginary or mythical. It is a single declarative of the horrors of apostasy. Included in this gruesome description are:
The horror of what an apostate loses. Falling away from Christ is the world’s greatest, most catastrophic loss. The priceless blessings of spiritual enlightenment, a taste of salvation from sin—heaven’s sweetest gift, being a temple of the Holy Spirit, enjoying the power and blessing of God’s good and perfect word and the richness of life at its best are all lost. The heinous horror of spiritual bankruptcy is immeasurable.
The horror of impenitence. Apostasy does not have to remain as a permanent state. But, as long as the apostate feels no sense of shame, guilt, loss, or remorse, repentance is impossible. As stunning as it sounds, some Christians have gone spiritually bankrupt and never desired to regain what they lost.
The horror of re-crucifying Christ. Spiritual blindness can also afflict the spiritually bankrupt. An apostate is living a life of publicly crucifying the One who had graciously saved him from his sins and is personally repeating the open shame and humiliation He endured at Calvary.
Apostasy and its horrors are to be feared.