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Lines In The Sand
by Wayne Blank
Turning Away versus Falling Away
As He was dying on the Cross after being horribly brutalized, Jesus Christ asked God to forgive those who were torturing and killing Him. Why?
"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34 KJV)
But what about those who do know "what they do"? What does the Bible (and Jesus Christ, see the Fact Finder question below) say about those who actually commit apostasy?
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened [see When Will You Be Judged?], and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 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. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." (Hebrews 6:4-8 KJV)
It is important to keep in mind that those described in Hebrews 6:4-8 knowingly, deliberately reject the Truth as an act of defiant finality, which is far different from, for example, when Peter denied even knowing Jesus Christ after He was arrested. The usually bold and brave Peter very temporarily lost his courage, not his loyalty and faith - something that the Messiah knew that Peter was going to do, and forgave him, in advance. It was most likely just coincidence that Jesus used a rooster to predict the usually "cocky" Peter's briefly turning "chicken," which was an act of human failing, not apostasy.
"Peter answered and said unto Him, Though all men shall be offended because of Thee, yet will I never be offended. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice." (Matthew 26:33-34 KJV)
Fact Finder: What is meant in the Scriptures by "bulwarks of the truth"?