Reading for Today:
Ezekiel 12:3 prepare…for captivity. This dramatic object lesson by the prophet called for carrying belongings out in a stealthy way as an act that depicted baggage for exile, just the bare necessities. His countrymen carried out such baggage when they went into captivity or sought to escape during Babylon’s takeover of Jerusalem (vv. 7, 11). Some attempting to escape were caught as in a net, like King Zedekiah who was overtaken, blinded, and forced into exile. Verse 9 indicates that Ezekiel actually did what he was told.
Ezekiel 12:22 this proverb. Delay had given the people the false impression that the stroke of judgment would never come. In fact, a saying had become popular, no doubt developed by false prophets who caused the people to reject Ezekiel’s visions and prophecies (v. 27) and who gave “flattering divinations” (vv. 23, 24).
Hebrews 6:1 leaving. This “leaving” does not mean to despise or abandon the basic doctrines. They are the place to start, not stop. They are the gate of entrance on the road to salvation in Christ. elementary principles of Christ. As “the oracles of God” in 5:12 refers to the Old Testament, so does this phrase. The writer is referring to basic Old Testament teaching that prepared the way for Messiah—the beginning teaching about Christ. These Old Testament “principles” include the 6 features listed in vv. 1, 2. go on to perfection. Salvation by faith in Messiah Jesus. The verb is passive, so as to indicate “let us be carried to salvation.” That is not a matter of learners being carried by teachers, but both being carried forward by God. The writer warns his Jewish readers that there is no value in stopping with the Old Testament basics and repeating (“laying again”) what was only intended to be foundational.
Hebrews 6:4 enlightened. They had received instruction in biblical truth which was accompanied by intellectual perception. Understanding the gospel is not the equivalent of regeneration (10:26, 32). In John 1:9, it is clear that enlightening is not the equivalent of salvation. tasted the heavenly gift. Tasting in the figurative sense in the New Testament refers to consciously experiencing something (2:9). The experience might be momentary or continuing. Christ’s “tasting” of death (2:9) was obviously momentary and not continuing or permanent. All men experience the goodness of God, but that does not mean they are all saved (Matt. 5:45; Acts 17:25). Many Jews, during the Lord’s earthly ministry experienced the blessings from heaven He brought—in healings and deliverance from demons, as well as eating the food He created miraculously (John 6). Whether the gift refers to Christ (John 6:51; 2 Cor. 9:15) or to the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 1:12), experiencing either one was not the equivalent of salvation (John 16:8; Acts 7:51).
DAY 10: To whom is Hebrews 6:4–6, and particularly the phrase “once enlightened,” directed?
The phrase “once enlightened” is often taken to refer to Christians. The accompanying warning, then, is taken to indicate the danger of losing their salvation if they “fall away” and “crucify again for themselves the Son of God.” But the immediate context has no mention of their being saved. They are not described with any terms that apply only to believers (such as holy, born again, righteous, or saints).
The interpretive problem arises from inaccurately identifying the spiritual condition of the ones being addressed. In this case, they were unbelievers who had been exposed to God’s redemptive truth and, perhaps, had made a profession of faith but had not exercised genuine saving faith. Another passage (10:26) addresses the same issue. The subject here is people who come in contact with the gospel but are spiritually unchanged by it. Apostate Christians are Christians in name only, not genuine believers who are often incorrectly thought to lose their salvation because of their sins.
There is no possibility of these verses referring to someone losing their salvation. Many Scripture passages make unmistakably clear that salvation is eternal (see, e.g., John 10:27–29; Rom. 8:35, 38, 39; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:4, 5). Those who want to make this passage mean that believers can lose salvation will have to admit that it would then also make the point that one could never get it back again.
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.