No More Sacrifice

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    This post is not about the Calvinistic doctrine of Limited Atonement. Let's get that out of the way from the start. This post is in reference to Hebrews 10:26 which reads:

    "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins..."

    This verse has caused a great deal of debate throughout church history. What I want to do in this post is explore the idea that there are people walking around who cannot be saved. The express reason they cannot be saved is that "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins".

    First, who is Hebrews 10:26 speaking about? Who are those for whom "there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins"?

    In the context of the verse, these are the people who have heard and understood the truth and yet have willfully continued in the sin of unbelief. Peter tells us that it would "be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them" (2Pet 2:21).

    Second, why does the text say that "there no longer remains a sacrifice" for their sins?

    These people continue to willfully reject the truth of the Gospel and the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As such, there is no sacrifice that can save them. They have rejected the only sacrifice, the only Savior, who could have saved them. Since they have done this, and continue to do so, there no longer remains a sacrifice for their sins. Instead of a sacrifice and mercy for them, they have nothing to look forward to "but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the furty of a fire which will consume the adversaries" (vs 27). These are people who have no hope and nothing to look forward to but hell. They are not in this situation because they are worse sinners than others. Rather they are in this situation because, humanly speaking, they have chosen to reject Christ once they knew the truth. Since they have rejected, and continue to reject, the only Savior they cannot be saved.

    Can they repent of this willful sin?

    In this context I'm afraid the answer is no. Through their wilfull rejection of Christ and His work at calvary, these people have placed themselves outside of the mercy of God. Therefore they will go through the rest of their lives with nothing to look forward to but hell. Of course many of them do not understand or believe that. They continue happily in their sinful ways. Certainly if they did understand, they certainly would live in daily terror.

    What about me?

    At this point, someone always asks a very important question: "What about me? How do I know if I am guilty of this willful sin?"

    The truth is that if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, or if you hear Him calling you and you will repent and believe in the Lord Jesus, you are clearly not guilty of this unpardonable sin. That is a great comfort to many who worry about this issue. Like the Pharisee in Matthew 12 and Mark 3, the majority of people who are guilty of this sin don't care. Though they should, they don't live in fear. Instead they willfully continue to sin by rejecting the Gospel and in doing so only make things worse for themselves.
     
    #1 Martin, Mar 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2010
  2. asterisktom

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    I am glad to see a post on this oft-troubling verse. I know that it used to really bother me, as I'm sure it has many Christians.

    However I believe that there is something that can be easily overlooked, and that is to whom this letter was written - to the Hebrews. I believe that Christians tend to pass over this detail of intended readership and thus miss the main import of the verse.

    Looking over my old outline on this passage (I had taught through this book a while back) I entitled this section, verses 26 - 39, Dreadful apostasy and the remedy against it. The apostasy - and this is what is often overlooked - is the return to powerless Judaism, with its sacrifices and other ritual. The whole chapter reinforces this, I believe. Paul is writing to his brethren according to the flesh, Hebrews.

    The "sinning willfully" (present participle - "habitual missing of the path or the mark") refers to those who forsake assembling with Christians, v. 25, and who "draw back" (to the old ways), v. 39. Forsaking the Living God they go back to the Jewish sacrifices that have no sin-destroying power.

    The "willfully" (emphatic in the Greek) is "tacitly opposed to sins committed inconsiderately, and from ignorance or from weakness". (Thayer)

    It is to people who go back to all that, after having had the Word of the kingdom presented to them, that Paul says there is no sacrifice left for them. That old way - now (at the time of Hebrews) fading away - is revealed to be a useless, soul-destroying dead-end.

    I don't believe that Christians should worry about this verse the way some do. I do believe that the Bible has other sobering verses for the self-examination of Christians - or those who merely take the name of "Christian" - but not this.
     
  3. Cypress

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    I agree and would add John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    Well! This was a short and sweet thread!

    I agree with the both of you!

    Good posts!
     
  5. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Tom, I agree with you. When I preached through the book, I took it the same way. The writer, having shown that Jesus is superior to things in the OT, says, if after you have learned this, you forsake Christ and return to the old inferior way, you have no hope of salvation.

    Of course, historically, shortly after this book was written, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the OT system of sacrifice was destroyed in fact. So, someone who returned to that system was quite literally left without if even an inferior sacrifice.
     
  6. Allan

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    Add me to the list of 'agreements' :thumbs:
     
  7. asterisktom

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    Reminds me of the preacher's prayer: "Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff - and nudge me when I've said enough."
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    I'll give this a group hug.....:1_grouphug:

    ......for now....

    uhmmmm....where'd I put those ape glasses to better examine these answers ?........:smilewinkgrin:
     

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