Bible Question:

I grew up in the church. I am guilty of Hebrews 6:4-6.  I was not saved.  Now I  want to come to Christ. Therefore, I cried out to God but nothing has happened. Is there still hope for me?

Bible Answer:

Many people have an incorrect understanding of Hebrews 6:4-6. As a result, some who grew up in the church and never received Christ, then left the church and later have desired to become a Christian, believe that they cannot. This article will explain why such a person can become a Christian and how you can become a Christian or in other words, a child of God.

Can I Become A Christian After Leaving the Church?

Meaning of Hebrews 6:4-6

For a full explanation of Hebrews 6:4-6, please read “Does Hebrews 6:4-6 mean that a person cannot become a Christian again?” For our purpose it is important to notice that this passage states that “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance” who have “fallen away.”

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6 (NASB)

There are two primary explanations given to this passage.

The first is that some claim Hebrews 6:4-6 proves a Christian can lose their salvation. But such a claim creates a serious problem because the passage states that “it is impossible to renew them to repentance.” The logical conclusion then is that once a person loses their salvation they cannot be saved again. Therefore, this creates the conclusion that a person can be saved only once. If you lose it, then there is no future hope. But this view misunderstands that this is a warning to unbelievers that they must believe in Christ and not reject Him after having full knowledge about Christ.

The second explanation and the correct understanding is that the passage states those who heard the gospel, experiencing the various blessings of the Holy Spirit while they were with other Christians, heard the Word of God and then chose to fall away and left, cannot be renewed to repentance. That is, they cannot become a Christian later.

Why is it impossible for this person to become a Christian? Because they had totally, completely and finally rejected Christ. They were never coming back. The reason Hebrews 6:6 says “it is impossible” is because nothing else can save them. Crucifying Christ again would not help them and if Christ was crucified that would put Christ to open shame.

Now notice that someone who wants to receive Christ at a later time is not included in the first and second explanations. They were never a Christian! This means the person can accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. The fact that the person wants to become a Christian means they never completely rejected Christ.

How To Become A Christian

Therefore, how can someone become a Christian? The answer is that first the individual will be convicted of their sin. The individual will in humility be grieving his or her sins and be repentant. They will believe that Christ, our God, died on a cross in order to forgive their sins and was then resurrected. In humility the individual will submit his or her life to Christ. That is the message of Romans 10:9-11.

. . . if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:9-13 (NASB)

Here we are told that the person must believe “with the heart.” That is, they are very sincere and in desperation and in prayer will call on the name of the Lord in order to be saved from their sin. That is what is required in order to become a Christian. For more information about becoming a Christian please read, “Searching For God” and “Must we confess Jesus as Lord with our mouth to be saved?

Conclusion:

After an individual becomes a Christian there will not necessarily be an emotional experience. But immediately they should sense a peace that his or her sins have been forgiven (Romans 5:1). You should not expect to speak in tongues as some teach, but you should have a hunger to study and learn the Bible. You should desire to please God. You should want to attend church with other Christians.  You should desire to know more about God.

Should you make a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please see the following link to our series opf lessons for new believers. We encourage you to work through the following study series, “Solid Root Series.”

Suggested Links:

Does Hebrews 6:4-6 mean that a person cannot become a Christian again?
Third Warning: Do Not Reject Christ, part 1 - Hebrews 6:1-6
Third Warning: Do Not Reject Christ, part 2 - Hebrews 6:7-20
The Often Forgotten Ingredient - Hebrews 6:1-12
Can a Christian stray from the faith and still be a Christian?
There are many scriptures that seem to contradict eternal security.
Is there a relationship between Matthew 12:32 and Hebrews 6:4?
Searching For God
Must we confess Jesus as Lord with our mouth to be saved?
Solid Root Series