Some believers who say they are Christians that Hebrews 6 tells us that a believer Can lose their Salvation – after being forgiven and saved by Christ’s atonement. Those that claim this are not trying to mislead anyone but they are misinterpreting Hebrews 6, and not looking closely at the context.
Context with Scriptures and knowing that ALL Scriptures are 100% correct with no inconsistencies or contradictions is key to full understanding of the Gospel.
Instead, some take this one Scripture in Hebrews, at verse 4-6, as meaning there is no eternal security for the believer, and seem to ignore all the other Bible Scriptures and words of Jesus Himself that tell us the opposite. Some will then add that we need works for salvation – taking the heart of the Gospel message out.
Hebrews is addressing, well, Jews. Hebrews 5 and 6 is addressing Jews who have become Christians yet have not progressed at all other than being saved by belief in the atonement of sins provided once and for all by Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is addressing the fact that these believing Jews have not progressed at all and that this needs to change. If we go back to Chapter 5 it helps us to see Chapter 6 in the proper context. Remember they did not write in chapters. Chapters were added to the Bible for the readers benefit.
“And being MADE PERFECT, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec. Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are DULL of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
(Hebrews 5:9-14 KJV)
There is nothing wrong with being a babe in the faith. That is, to be a new Christian just starting the journey of learning about God and His ways. However, here we see that it has been quite a while since they first believed and they should be at a level of understanding so they could teach others. Instead, they are still as babes and unskillful in the faith. These are the people being addressed in Hebrews Chapter 5 and 6.
If one were to read ONLY Hebrews 6:4-5 they would get the totally wrong context of these Chapters. And it could seemingly be interpreted as losing your salvation. And that is why some are telling others they can lose their salvation in Christ – which is totally false.
Such people are babes in the faith still and do not even grasp the context using the first three verse of Hebrews 6. They just hand pick the one verse which alone, out of context, fits what they believe; that a person can lose their Salvation. Here is Hebrews 6 as described in verses 1-3 which is the context of the verses to follow and is all about the peril of not progressing in the faith of Christ:
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” (Hebrews 6:1-3 KJV)
This is all about the Hebrew believers in Christ and that they have reverted back to doing the religious works they once did under the law. They reverted to trying to work their way back to God. But salvation is NOT of works of any kind as we see in so many passages of Scripture regarding the Gospel of Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Timothy 2: 5-6, Romans 4:4-5, Galatians 2:16-21, Galatians 2:16-21 and many many more!). Instead of increasingly learning faith in Christ and living that out, they are still as babes and have even reverted back to the rituals of the Jewish faith.
Galatians tells us that this not so and that it is Christ plus nothing that MAKES us saved. Salvation is a GIFT, without works to gain it. It is the GIFT from God to all that Believe that Christ is the Lord and Savior.
These believers (yes they are still called believers, just babes in the faith) did not mature to start enjoying the freedom in the law of liberty in Christ. Jesus sets us free. What they were doing by going back to the Jewish rituals, such as slaying a lamb to atone for their sins was a VERY wrong thing to do! That was just a foreshadowing of what the Messiah would do and what Jesus Christ fulfilled in it’s entirety on the cross when He cried out “IT IS FINISHED!” Doing so, is like saying to God and Christ that His sacrifice, which is once for all, is not sufficient. And that is what some are saying by telling others a person can lose their salvation. God forbid! Stop doing that!
“4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV)
Verse 6 is where some believe it has a meaning of a believer who has lost Salvation forever. But that is not the meaning in proper context. To believe this is about loss of Salvation you would have to ignore many many other Scriptures stating Salvation cannot be lost. This is talking about how these people need to stop “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” They need to stop falling away to the old rituals of the law and at the same time saying they need the atonement for sins by faith in Christ. NO, Christ fulfilled the law and replaced the law of the Ministry of death and condemnation with the Ministry of righteousness and liberty in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:7-9). Verse 6 is just stating they have no need to go back and get saved again. Because once saved, always saved. They are still saved. But continuing like this will result in judgement (not condemnation to hell) and discipline. And in this case, likely severe consequences in this life; becoming useless. They need to start on milk again and learn the truth of the Gospel message. And then hold fast to the truth. Otherwise, they risk losing rewards at the Bema seat judgement of believers after the Rapture.
Many scriptures make it clear that salvation is eternal and that a person who accepts Christ act of atonement as a gift, has been eternally secured IN CHRIST. Yes, a person can backslide, but the Holy Spirit will always guide and correct the thinking of the person and persuade them back to right living. In fact, the Holy Spirit is constantly changing us and renewing our mind more like Christ. And this happens differently for everyone; different levels and speeds for each individual.
All the Scriptures are true — without contradiction —, though some seem to contradict each other. When that happens, it means we are missing the mark and the context. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the true meaning of such difficult passages. He will in His time.
Here are just a few other Scriptures, some the words of Jesus Himself, that tell us a believer has true assurance of salvation that cannot be lost. It is a work of God, 100%… not our fleshly efforts and works that save us. Our part is to accept and believe by our will.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6 KJV)
Here we see the Holy Spirit is perfecting us through our living years until the day we are face to face with Jesus bodily and we become like He is.
“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:4-5 KJV)
” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29 KJV)
“Now unto HIM that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 24 KJV)
Faith In Christ Alone? Or Faith Plus Works? Which Is The Biblical Truth?
Those teaching this false Gospel of losing Salvation also teach faith PLUS works is required for Salvation. It is spreading in online groups as well as in many denominational churches; those claiming you can lose your Salvation and those that teach faith in Christ “PLUS good works” is required for salvation.
Some are falling for it because they use Scriptures like this OUT OF CONTEXT. WE MUST BE DILIGENT AGAINST SUCH. The Apostle Paul was given the revelation of the Gospel of grace directly from Christ. Paul gave us 3/4 of the New Testament (most believe he also wrote Hebrews)- think about that one! READ ROMANS & GALATIANS! IMPORTANT!
This very same teaching of a false Gospel crept into the Galatian churches – Paul had to address it with them.
Paul even rebuked Peter over the faith plus works issue. It is very deceptive and does away with the sacrifice of Christ, under the disguise of Biblical Scriptures out of context.
⇒ SALVATION REQUIRING GOOD WORKS AND/OR NEVER SINNING IS A FALSE GOSPEL.
John 6… Jesus says it VERY CLEARLY…
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom He hath sent.” (John 6:28-29 KJV)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation.” (John 5:24 KJV hath is present tense!)
“Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT BY THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST , even we have BELIEVED IN Jesus Christ, that we might BE JUSTIFIED BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST, and NOT by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED.” (Galatians 2:16 KJV)
And these very same teachers of this false Gospel teach I am teaching the false Gospel and they even use a Scripture that shows how false what they teach as truth really is. They do not see the truth in context. They cherry pick verses that fit their belief instead of learning the truth from the Word of God.
They even use this verse, from Matthew 7,
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)
Three points to consider here…
1. What is the will of the Father?
Here is Christ’s perfect time to answer how a person is saved. John 6 tells us the answer to this question. Does John 6 say, Faith plus works? NO!
” Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom He hath sent.”” (John 6:29 KJV)
JESUS SAID BELIEVE!!! NOT WORK!
2. And what is Christ going to say to those that believe in their own works for salvation and forgiveness of sin?
Those that trust in their WORKS and deeds and what they have done in life? Verse 22 of Matthew 7 shows…. Haven’t I DONE this and DONE that in your name etc and Jesus reply is? . ” And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
3. What about the Bema Seat Judgement Of Believers In Our Future?
At the Bema Seat Rewards Judgement (1 Corinthians 3) of believers by Christ Himself, you can see that believers may lose rewards and gain rewards by their good works for Christ. However, understand that this Bema Seat Judgement is similar to an athletic competition ceremony. It is not punitive against sins committed because those at this judgement are already Raptured and have new immortal bodies without the sin nature present.
In fact, the word “sin or sins” is not even found regarding this judgement of believers. Their sins on Earth were already judged on the cross in Jesus Christ. The Bema Seat is where Christ will have us give an account of our lives after salvation and is based on our MOTIVES for the works we do for God. God always looks at a persons motives. Those works that were done in the flesh (that is by us attempting to do them for the wrong human reasons) will mean a loss of reward. Those works done with the right motives for God and by the Holy Spirit through you will receive reward. That is, by what we do and WHY we did the works.
So yes, it is important to want to please God and be involved in His work. Yet, even a person who accepted Christ with no works will still be saved and in heaven yet with little or no reward. (1 Corinthians 3:13) Everyone will suffer some loss of rewards and gain of rewards. Some may not receive a reward and feel some shame about it. But overall the feeling is like that of school graduation or an Olympic rewards ceremony. It is a positive event and all at this Bema Seat event are all in Heaven where joy abounds in ways that we cannot yet even comprehend fully right now here on Earth.
It is not what YOU DO. It is what Jesus DID for YOU!!!
It is what the Holy Spirit does through you after salvation by FAITH. Good works will follow but it is GOD doing them THROUGH us. It is NOTHING FOR US TO BOAST ABOUT. Not works by the flesh. Works by the Holy Spirit.
Be diligent. Do not believe the false Gospel that is spreading like wildfire in these last days.
You cannot lose your salvation if you believe in the Gospel of Christ, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless live and died on the cross providing you with the atonement for your sins.