There’s a great and tragic thing that can happen when we fall away from following Christ. We crucify Him afresh. Our disobedience and faithless ways cause us to see Him not as our High Priest on the throne of Heaven. With our decisions we say, “Give us Barabbas, not Jesus.” Let us purpose to not cast away our confidence. Hebrews 6:4-9; Hebrews 10:35-39
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 11/29/2020
P. Schaller –
Welcome back, Sebastian. Good to have you back home. God bless you. Is that clip about the persecuted
church we played this morning available? Some folks were not here this morning. This is a
meditation on the persecuted church that we would join in prayer for them for what is going on
worldwide. This morning our message was about falling away. A believer falling away and
tonight we are going to teach on that also. But before we start, I want you to think of these
people in different parts of the world under a lot of pressure. Christ is in heaven sitting on a
throne and he knows everyone of them and makes intercession for them and cares about them
more than we do. We have the Holy Spirit and we think about these trials and the testing and
the temptation to draw back and kind of quit or disappear and not face the challenge in front of
them. This happened in Hebrews to the Hebrew Christians.
I want you to notice it and then we will have some prayer for our sisters and brothers for a few minutes. Do we have prayer and praise tonight with P. Mark? Yes, that will happen after service. Hebrews 10:32 that means you
were in blindness but then you were illuminated, or light came to you. You understood. You
were this way, let’s say a legalistic Jew but now you see Christ. You are illuminated. After you
are illuminated, after you were saved and it was clear to you that Jesus is Christ, after that
conviction came into your heart, you suffered. Vs. 32. P. Scibelli sometimes preaches to the
people in Pakistan and their history goes back some years before us, some moving of God in
these generations in Pakistan. And the children say I am from a Christian family. Sometimes
they live in ghetto areas and they are deprived government jobs and university education. They
are persecuted. They take our classes. I think they have some spiritual authority in life. I think
they have a vision and a heart from what I understand.
This is a walk of faith. Vs. 33. That means you were made a theater. It would be like people in the town and your furniture is dragged out in the street and burned and it’s your house. Your life, your books are confiscated.
You are dragged out in the street and beaten. You are made a gain stock. What’s wrong with
him? He’s a Christian. That’s the idea here. Vs. 33. You came to the side of the persecuted ones.
You drew near to them. You became a companion of them. I’m with them. I can say publicly I’m
with them. Those are my sisters and brothers. Vs. 34. You can have it. You can have my
furniture. You can have my stuff, my kitchenware. How did they take it? Joyfully. After they
were illuminated and you see you are part of kingdom not of this earth, you suffer better. It’s
still suffering. It’s not easy. It’s still suffering. This is part of life that we are not that familiar with
being American Christians, but we are precious of course.
Maybe one day we might also face it. I hope not but on the other hand, it’s God’s business and it’s part of life. Isn’t that awesome. Wow. Vs. 34. Knowing in yourselves you have in heaven a high priest who is watching
everything and knows everything. What I do secretly he may reward me openly. He does in Mt.
6. We have something in heaven that is enduring. My furniture may be destroyed but I have
something in heaven enduring. We put our treasure in heaven. We have in heaven our priest
who is praying for us and caring for us. I mentioned to Afroos and Farshad this morning because
they lived in Iran and they become believers and the government threatened to take Esther
their daughter away from them. That was when they decided to leave Iran. They escaped to
Turkey and here they are in America. This is a good story. Not everyone has that one.
Our faith is not in vain. Our trust in God is greater than trust in men. Our sufferings may be a light
affliction but work for us a greater degree of glory. Do not fear men in Psalm 37:4. These are
words for us today. Don’t fall away. That’s our message tonight; not to fall away. Feel free to
pray for a few minutes for the persecuted church. Would you say some prayers for them either
by yourself or with someone next to you? We have a special singing group over here. I think
they are a happy group. What’s their name? Landmark. Is it country music? It’s happening.
We’ll have that in a few minutes. We could do the happy music and then go back to serious,
falling away. Falling away is not the happiest subject to preach about. Matthew 6, do any of you
know anybody, don’t bring up names, have you seen it happen? Some falling away. However
you want to describe it. I don’t have any particular person in mind. It could come to me. I’m
thinking of what I have seen in principle through the years. It’s understandable.
It’s easy to imagine what it means to give up or what’s the use or be confused or troubled or guilty. To get
into some argument with some people in the church and be disappointed with those people or
be disappointed with the church or the pastor or what is happening or will happen. There’s
many things here. The Bible is written a lot about it. If we would be not emotional but very wise
and with a good heart and the Spirit of God is our teacher. He can tell me how fragile I am. He
knows my frame that I am made of dust. Every disciple was misled. Out of the Jewish people
that came out of Egypt, only 2 made it out of the Promised Land. The odds are against us unless
– this is what is so precious about it – this can happen. I can find I can not only stand but
continue and finished and glorify God individually and as a body. We can be established and
rooted and grounded in our faith. Mathew. 6:21, where is my heart?
Day by day, where is my heart? We had a good message on that this morning. How I think. How my thinking affects my life in Philippians 4. Where is my heart? My treasure, what is my treasure when I have treasure, my heart is
after that treasure. I think my wife was an example of that for me when I fell in love with her
and she became my treasure. It affected my heart. My heart was after my wife and loving my
wife and knowing my wife. Sometimes people desire other things. Of course, we all do at
different times. When Jesus becomes a treasure to us. Maybe that is what happened in India,
Pakistan, and China. Jesus becomes their treasure, so their heart is there. Vs. 22. He changes
now a metaphor. Double mindedness, distraction, seeing other things, not being focused. Vs.
23. That part is where I want to stop right there. Would you say it out loud with me. “If
therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” How does that
work? How can the light that is in me be darkness? Apparently there is light in every human
There is some kind of light that guides them but if that light is darkness- Carl mentioned
to me when I mentioned the error of the wicked, he said this famous rapper, but her music is so
pornographic and filthy but she’s so popular. That little story is the error of the wicked. The
wicked and then the error that this is good or enjoyable when it’s filthy. It’s the error of the
wicked. You can have a famous movie that is blasphemous, and the movie theatre is sold out.
I’m making that up, but the light is darkness. Can it happen to a believer? That’s what I want
you to see tonight. Can the light that is in me be turned to darkness? That is the question. Could
the light of the Christian be turned to darkness? If the light that is in me is changed, my heart is
changed. My mind is changed. My way of thinking is changed, and it becomes darkness.
How great is the darkness when the light turns to darkness. You go from something illuminated but
now I fall away. Illuminated. Saved. But now I have fallen away. Hebrews 6, I kind of feel I should
have a happy time right now! I think you guys are up for it. We just want to have a good time,
but not going to happen. It’s so serious I know but I think it’s good. Heb. 6, these verses so
many times we avoid them as preachers because they are hard to teach. I think I got it this
morning as I was thinking about it. I studied it yesterday and I think I got a good meditation for
you. I don’t want to say I got it right but it’s something to think about. I want you to see
something. The Hebrew Christians are like this, they are illuminated, and the writer is afraid
they are going to slip, Hebrews 2. Don’t let this slip from you. Then he’s afraid their evil heart will be
deceived. He warns them, Hebrews 3:12, don’t let your evil heart be deceived. And then goes to
Heb 6 and will tell them something strongly and then he goes to Hebrews 10 and it’s stronger. He’s
telling them it’s very serious and he’s going to tell them how to handle it.
Like we would be in our church because we are so kind and easy in a way. You’re doing fine. Praise the Lord. Be
careful don’t let these doctrines slip away from you. Okay? Okay. Then it’s more serious. Exhort
one another every day lest a evil heart deceives you. Then Hebrews 6 he says if this happens to you
it’s impossible to be restored to repentance. That’s amazing. I want to show you why and what
it means. Heb. 6, I have so many things to say I don’t know if I can do a good job. Forgive me if I
don’t cover the whole thing but you’ll get it. The theme or content of Hebrews 6 is Melchizedek the
high priest. I need to share about the high priest. Jesus died on the cross, was ascended up and
seated on a throne. Where is Jesus? In heaven on a throne. What does he have there? A throne
ministry. Is he a priest? Yes. Is he your priest? Yes. What is he doing? Praying for you,
interceding, representing you before the Father. It’s a spiritual reality you are accepted before
You can never be rejected, lost or alienated from God because of our priest and his
ministry. These persecuted Christians have a priest in heaven and knows them. Jesus is on the
earth and now in heaven on our behalf. I can’t see him but he’s making these things happen.
You wonder why we are blessed in many ways. We are blessed because we have a priest in
heaven on our behalf. Why is he shining like Stephen? Why is that woman like Claudia or in
Romans 16 Priscilla? Why is there a blessing? Because of our high priest. I think they were living in
an evil world. They are in the presence of their enemies, but a high priest is over them, Hebrews 4.
Go onto maturity and make progress in your faith and do not depart. Hebrews 6:4. He mentions five
things. Four of them are positive and one is negative. Are they a believer? Yes, they are. They
are born again believers. It’s impossible for them who were once enlightened. They are
enlightened. They have tasted the heavenly gift. We have tasted the heavenly gift. They have
tasted. They are partakers of the Holy Spirit and tasted the good word of God. Are they
believers? They are.
They are like us sitting here tonight. We’ve tasted the Word and have tasted the heavenly gift and I’ve been comforted by the Spirit. Four things about them very clear. They are believers. If they fall away. Vs. 6. What does it mean? This is why this is a difficult Bible passage. What does it mean? Morally falling away? Theologically falling away? All of us fall away in different degrees in different times. It’s impossible if they fall away, to renew
them to repentance. They are gone. Not eternally. But they cannot be restored. It raises the
question how could that be? That’s why it’s a difficult passage. My point tonight is how serious it is. The falling away. One woman in one of the churches I was in left eight years and came back. Others I’ve met they go away for years and come back. Can’t they be restored? Vs. 6. I believe that phrase is the key. They crucify the Son of God afresh. How would you do that? What does it mean to crucify the Son of God afresh? They figuratively take Jesus who is here on the throne and rip him away from the throne and put him back on the cross. What does that
mean putting him back on the cross? You can’t do it literally.
What happened in their heart? Did the light that was in them become darkness and how great is the darkness. What do you think of Jesus? This came to me this morning and I’m not necessarily correct on it but think with me.
What do you think of Jesus? Give me Barabbas. How could a Christian do that? If they fall away,
you don’t know where they will end up, how they will think and how they will process it. We
maybe have met them in life. What happened? How did you fall away? Many steps maybe.
Maybe when they fell away it was first one step and then bitterness. Esau became a bitter man
because he sold his birthright. The Jew in the Diaspora in the Roman Empire could do with
regard to Christ. I believe in Jesus. I’ve been illuminated. I’m a believer and then how did this
happen? The evil heart of Hebrews 3:12. The letting it slip away from me gradually in Hebrews 2:1. Now
my high priest in heaven I don’t think of him like that anymore.
I crucify Christ again afresh like nailing him to the cross again. Maybe worse, walking away from him. I don’t need you. I don’t believe in you anymore. Can they be restored? The writer is saying no, they can’t be. It’s
impossible. That’s what it says. He describes it by agriculture in vs. 7. Then have that
parenthetical description of 4 and 5 and if they fall away it’s impossible to renew them to that
state. Once the light becomes darkness and I got the whole thing figured out through darkness,
I’m not returning. I’m not that way anymore. Is he saved? Yes. That’s clear to us in our
theology. I’ll never leave you or forsake you, but you will suffer loss. You’ll have problems
different than people because you take your high priest and throw him away, in the ditch. You
don’t believe he’s your high priest. You have fallen away and departed and it’s not going to
happen that you will get back. Think of ten acres of ground in vs. 7. You have ten acres of good
agriculture. This is a metaphor for the Christian.
The Christian is like the garden and he’s bearing good produce. Good fruit is happening in his life. Vs. 8. This is a direct reference to what we just said. If you fall away and crucify Christ afresh and say give us Barabbas. We want
Barabbas then you’ll have thorns and briars in your life. In your life, you will have thorns and
briars. Why does that person have so many troubles? Looks like a lot of thorns and briars there.
They fell away. That’s okay cause when we fall away, we don’t have a really good time. It’s like
born again, born again. Ever heard that? I have. They fell away and they are done. They would
never come here. They have no interest. They are gone. God knows. It says there are thorns
and briars nigh unto cursing. Vs. 8. Burning is important in our Bible because it’s not always
eternal burning. Fire is sometimes a discipline. God is a consuming fire. Burning is eternal in
hell, but this isn’t that. Using the agriculture picture, then there is thorns and briars they just
burn the land. Like in the Amazon rainforests, that’s how they clear the land.
A person’s life is nigh unto burning. There is nothing good there. The person is suffering. I want to give a word of
hope. Even though this can happen, I believe God hears the cry of the prisoner. This light that
became darkness in them is not going to change. They live their life and lose reward at the bema seat. They will realize when they go before God in heaven. They will realize what a huge
mistake. What blindness, what pride, what foolishness and arrogance happened to me when I
fell away. It didn’t happen just like – he’s warning them. Hebrews 6 the warning is much stronger.
When he gets to Hebrews 10, he lets it go. Hebrews 10:26-27. Devours the adversaries not the people.
This isn’t about going to hell. Ahab and Jehoshaphat made ships. What happened to their navy?
Ships were broken with a storm. A hurricane or storm came and broke the ships in the harbor.
There is a judgment on the works. My thing didn’t work. It was judged from God. I cheated
little over here, and God saw it in heaven and the thing didn’t work.
There was a judgment that came on it. It was not blessed. It was cursed. Nigh unto cursing. Hebrews 10:35. Confidence. Spiritual. In our hearts. Confidence God is for me. Let me fear him. Help me to fear you Lord.
Draw me back when I drift from you. My life could be disaster after disaster, but I have a high
priest in heaven who cares for me. He’s going to do it. Everything I believe is valuable. It’s not in
vain. it’s precious. How we look at God and trust him and respect him. Vs. 36. Don’t let the
persecution which we read about in the beginning of the service take away from you your
confidence and your patience. Vs. 37. Don’t draw back. Dive in. Go at it. Don’t draw back. Don’t
be afraid. Be courageous. When we were taught American football in school, my coach said hit
him harder than he hits you and you’ll never get hurt. I never got hurt, just mentally hurt! You
and I learn to stand. There are people that persevere in many theaters of life and they don’t
quit. They go at it. They believe God. Our priest is in heaven praying for us.
Thank you God. I respect you. You gave us your Son. I know he is there and I’m not ripping him down from there
and putting him back on the cross and call, I want Barabbas. There is nobody who replaces God
Almighty. Trust him and you’ll not fall away. You’ll be drawn to him and you’ll grow in it. Vs. 38.
I expect you to draw near, to go forward, to believe me and embrace the reality of it. I expect
you to worship me and know who I am. My Son is for you. Falling away is not fun. There are
sisters and brothers that do, and they have attitudes. Maybe after they are in the field for a
while kicking the briars and thorns, they might get a message. Get on your knees before God.
Call your spiritual friend and say pray for me. I want to come back. I want to honor Jesus Christ.
I want to embrace him and know him. Vs. 39. That word is not eternal perdition. It is
destruction. We are not of them that draw back to this destruction but to them who believe to
the saving of our soul. We’ll have a bounce in our step and joy in our heart and Spirit of God
amongst us. Not a falling away but an embracing but a spirit of worship and respect for God and
what he has done for us.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.