People Misunderstand Hebrews 6:4-6

Rocky Mountain morning at Ryan’s

Good morning everyone and God bless you!  This morning I am still dealing with people who think you can lose your salvation in Christ, so I am going to go even deeper into it and defend God’s Word yet again.  Thank You Jesus for this opportunity!  I enjoy the battle and the challenge!  You have opened a door to share and discuss Your Truth!  Glory to God!  The Scripture that freaks people out and that many false preachers use is Hebrews 6:4-6.  Let’s take a look at it and what it is saying and what it is not saying.

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Hebrews 6:4-6

First of all, that does not say you can lose your salvation.  Pay attention to the “if” because that is a big “if” because those who are actually filled with the Holy Spirit cannot lose it!  It is a seal (Ephesians 1:13-14) guaranteeing our inheritance!  If we could earn our salvation, then Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:17-21, 3:1-5)!

I want to share this fantastic explanation of the verses in Hebrews first.  It will clear up any misunderstandings you have, then I will post a reply to one of the challenges I received regarding my post “You CANNOT Lose Your Salvation!” where the challenger used Hebrews 6:4-6.

“Question: “Does Hebrews 6:4-6 mean we can lose our salvation?”

Answer: Hebrews 6:4–6 states, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance.” This is one of the Bible’s most difficult passages to interpret, but one thing is clear—it does not teach that we can lose our salvation. There are two valid ways of looking at these verses:

One interpretation holds that this passage is written not about Christians but about unbelievers who are convinced of the basic truths of the gospel but who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. They are intellectually persuaded but spiritually uncommitted.

According to this interpretation, the phrase once enlightened (Hebrews 6:4) refers to some level of instruction in biblical truth. However, understanding the words of Scripture is not the same as being regenerated by the Holy Spirit. For example, John 1:9 describes Jesus, the “true Light,” giving light “to every man”; but this cannot mean the light of salvation, because not every man is saved. Through God’s sovereign power, every man has enough light to be held responsible. This light either leads to the complete acceptance of Jesus Christ or produces condemnation in those who reject such light. The people described in Hebrews 6:4–6 are of the latter group—unbelievers who have been exposed to God’s redemptive truth and perhaps have made a profession of faith, but who have not exercised genuine saving faith.

This interpretation also sees the phrase tasted the heavenly gift (Hebrews 6:4) as referring to a momentary experience, akin to Jesus’ “tasting” death (Hebrews 2:9). This brief experience with the heavenly gift is not seen as equivalent to salvation; rather, it is likened to the second and third soils in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 13:3–23), which describes people who receive the truth of the gospel but are not truly saved.

Finally, this interpretation sees the “falling away” (Hebrews 6:6) as a reference to those who have tasted the truth but, not having come all the way to faith, fall away from even the revelation they have been given. The tasting of truth is not enough to keep them from falling away from it. They must come all the way to Christ in complete repentance and faith; otherwise, they in effect re-crucify Christ and treat Him contemptuously. Those who sin against Christ in such a way have no hope of restoration or forgiveness because they reject Him with full knowledge and conscious experience. They have concluded that Jesus should have been crucified, and they stand with His enemies. It is impossible to renew such to repentance.

The other interpretation holds that this passage is written about Christians, and that the phrases partakers of the Holy Ghost, enlightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift are all descriptions of true believers.

This second interpretation is based on an alternate translation, found in the KJV and a few others, in which Hebrews 6:6 begins with the phrase if they fall away, with the key word being if. According to this view, the writer of Hebrews is setting up a hypothetical statement: “IF a Christian were to fall away.” The point being made is that it would be impossible (IF a Christian falls away) to renew salvation. That’s because Christ died once for sin (Hebrews 9:28), and if His sacrifice is insufficient, then there’s no hope at all.

In this view, the passage presents an argument based on a false premise (that a true Christian can fall away) and follows it to its senseless conclusion (that Jesus would have to be sacrificed again and again). The absurdity of the conclusion points up the impossibility of the original assumption. This reasoning is called reductio ad absurdum, in which a premise is disproved by showing that it logically leads to an absurdity. The weakness of this view is that the Greek text does not contain a word equivalent to the English if.

Both of these interpretations support the security of the believer in Christ. The first interpretation, which has a stronger textual basis, presents unbelievers rejecting Christ and thereby losing their chance of salvation; the second, weaker interpretation presents the very idea of believers losing salvation as impossible. Many passages make it abundantly clear that salvation is everlasting (John 10:27–29; Romans 8:35, 38–39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4–5), and Hebrews 6:4–6 confirms that doctrine.”


Make sense now?  I hope so!  I figured some of you might want to hear it from someone other than me.  You are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone!

Here is my reply:

“Yes, that is the verse that false preachers (and the ones I was dealing with) use to scare people and tell them they can lose their salvation. It is not talking about losing your salvation. The letter is to Jews, and Paul (although some think Paul didn’t write Hebrews) is trying to stress to them to follow Christ the Great High Priest in the order of Melchizedek and not trust in works. He is telling them to believe in Jesus!

Mormons, Catholics, and Jehovah’s Witnesses also like to quote Galatians, but again, Paul is talking about not trusting in the flesh and that we are not justified through trying to follow the law (Galatians 3). I take Jesus at His Word when He says no one can snatch me out of His hand. We are justified through faith in Jesus Christ alone. John 10:27-30, John 6:35-40, John 5:24, John 3:16. I take Jesus at His Word and those are His Words, not mine. You either believe in Jesus or you don’t. You either think you can get to Heaven by good works or you don’t. Ephesians 2:8-9 is very clear on that. Romans 10:9 is very clear too. Remember Peter and how the Lord restored him back to repentance and reinstated Peter even after he denied him 3 times (John 21:15-19).
If we could be justified through the law, then Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:17-21).

Consider what Paul says at the beginning of chapter 3:
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?”
Galatians 3:1-5

God doesn’t owe you, me, or anybody else anything. You receive the free gift of salvation, you can’t earn it. We receive the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus (Ephesians 1:13-14) and the Holy Spirit is a seal guaranteeing our inheritance.

I hope you don’t believe we can lose our salvation. It doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible. Many verses are misused and misunderstood by people who don’t have the Holy Spirit, like the false preachers in the Catholic church who also teach from their false Apocrypha they added to the Bible, which they should not do. I dealt with the Mormons and Catholics my entire 4 years of ministry in college and I have dealt with them my entire 22 year walk with Christ. It is truly unbelievably warped what they believe. To be fair, I have met Catholics that are Spirit filled and truly love Jesus, but the church as a whole preaches lies, especially the evil Jesuit Pope…but that is a whole separate can of worms and leads right to the NWO, which you and I could discuss for endless hours. 🙂

Jesus paid the full price for our sins brother. Yes, we should die to sin and strive, but if we fall, then repent, get back up, and press on in Christ just like Paul said in Philippians 3:12-16. We are not perfect and we are not going to be perfect until we see Him in Heaven.
God bless brother! (Romans 7:24-25) We are all wretched and let us not forget that we are only saved through Jesus Christ our Lord!

“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
Galatians 2:15-16”

-Ryan Callahan replying to a challenge to my post of Biblical truth that we cannot lose our salvation in Jesus Christ

Don’t let anyone bewitch you like what happened to the Galatians!  You cannot lose your salvation once you truly belong to Jesus!  If you have truly received Him as your Lord and Savior, then you are saved and nothing can snatch you out of His hand!  None of us are greater than Jesus or the Father (John 10:27-30)!  We are not justified through observing the law (good works)!  We are justified by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, which is a free gift that we must personally receive from God by faith.  It can never be earned!  We will always fall short of the glory of God by our own effort!

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:21-24

“Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

Psalm 51:5

“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin?  Absolutely not!  If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker.  For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:17-21

Put your faith fully in Jesus Christ for your salvation!  He is faithful and trustworthy and we can take Him at His Word!

Grace and peace to you all!

Martin Luther with Bible
Martin Luther
Martin Luther 1517
Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Catholic Church on October 31, 1517, which became the foundation for The Reformation.  We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, not by works! (Ephesians 2:8-9)



Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2023 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

26 thoughts on “People Misunderstand Hebrews 6:4-6”

  1. Amen, Ryan! I couldn’t believe when I read your post that some people actually think they can lose their salvation once they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That is really sad and disturbing. As you explained thoroughly with all the scriptures that just isn’t so. Simply, God would have not sent and sacrificed his son to die on the cross for us if that was the case…what would be the point, we are sinners, Jesus DIED for us! Some people take a beautiful, loving gift from God and make it so complicated. It is a gift, not any works can save us. God blesses us every day! Thank you, Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All glory to God! Thanks for the encouragement! That’s cool your group studied it! I love the Book of Hebrews! It is a tough passage of Scripture for sure. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit helping us understand the Word! God bless sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is such an interesting discussion. On a practical level, about 5 years ago when I first started working as a chaplain in the workplace was when I really began to lean on my eternal security in a big way. What I mean is, because He will not leave me nor forsake me, and no one not even me can pluck me out of His hand, and I am His child by grace and do not get a title, name tag, office etc. in heaven, only God can give me comfort no matter what type of response someone gives me. I encounter a range of people. Some are really glad I am there. Some are not. But, overtime sometimes the ones who are not need a pastoral type of person and they invite me in. People change but God doesn’t, for that reason my security gives me comfort. Even if I botch it all. God still loves me and that is a fact. Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very thorough and enlightening. Thanks for sharing your research. And thanks for your explanation of Hebrews 6:4-6. I’ve never heard anyone actually address this before as anything other than losing your salvation. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, absolutely not! They’re way off. But the vast weight of historical evidence is that the Apocrypha was originally in the Bible, and later removed.
        EVERY single ancient canon – including the pre-Christ Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls, and the pre-Catholic Peshitta, along with numerous other pre- and post-Catholic canons – included the Apocrypha. The earliest canon to completely omit them was the Masoretic Text, which wasn’t compiled until the 7th-11th centuries AD, and made some deliberate alterations to Scripture to hide that fact that Yehoshua/Jesus is the Messiah. (Curiously enough, pre-Catholic “church fathers”, such as Justin Martyr, recorded that in their day the Jews were beginning to remove the Apocrypha – although they didn’t call it that – from the canon. They had begun removing books that predicted – or possibly predicted Jesus as Messiah.) (Another curious side-note: it was actually the Catholics who were first – among Christendom – to try and remove the Apocrypha. Constantine’s Council of Nicea attempted to remove the entire Apocrypha EXCEPT 1 Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah.)
        But even after the Jews officially removed the Apocrypha from their Bibles, Christendom continued to universally accept these books… until Martin Luther. Luther tried to remove the books of Hebrews, James and Revelation as they did not align with his personal beliefs (!), although there was too much popular opposition to their removal (although to this day, Lutherans regard these books as inferior to the other Biblical books). At the same time, he removed several books – or parts of books – from the Old Testament and put them into a section he called the “Apocrypha”. (Yes, that’s all verifiable history.) However, Protestants still continued to include them in their Bibles… until the early-to-mid 1600s. The original KJV included the Apocrypha, and King James I made it illegal to remove any books from the Bible. However (I think it was around the 1630s) dishonest KJV publishers realised they could sell just as many Bibles with higher profit and less cost if they removed the Apocrypha. THAT’S why they’re excluded from many modern Bibles.
        There’s no historical basis for the exclusion of the Apocrypha. It’s a phenomena of the last millennium or so. They weren’t “added” (there’s no evidence that they were) – they were removed.
        That’s the historical evidence, anyway.
        (I’m Messianic.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so thankful I found your blog!! In my Bible study time yesterday I read that verse in Hebrews and it scared the crap out of me!!!

    I am currently standing and praying for my wife’s salvation, the salvation of my kids, and the restoration of my marriage and family!! And I feel like, within the family, I am fighting this battle alone!! It’s good to know God WILL SAVE HER, and that God WILL RESTORE us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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