Hebrews 6:4-6 offers up some of the hardest words in the Bible for Christian to digest.
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
But can a genuine Christian lose their salvation? These words in Hebrews seem to suggest those who have fallen away from the faith have the appearance of being a true Christian. They have “once been enlightened” which means they have heard the Gospel and responded. They have “tasted the heavenly gift” which gives the impression they at one time claim to have received Christ as savior. They have shared in the Holy Spirit and have tasted the word of God. Yet they have fallen away.
Elsewhere in the Bible in passages like John 10:27-30, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one,” Jesus seems to say once saved always saved.
Then there is the Parable of the Prodigal Son about a son who turns away from the Father and goes his own way. Later however he has a change of heart and is restored into the fathers family.
In the light of these passages what is Hebrews 6:4-6 about?
Well the the key to understanding any passage of scripture is to read what comes before and after the passage. At the end of Chapter 5 the writer of Hebrews is chastising some believers for not maturing in the in the Word. He says, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits
It appears many followers though repentant were not following Jesus wholeheartedly. They never made it past the infant stage of Christianity some even going back to their old ways. Therefore the writer continues in Hebrews 6 it is time for all those who are living on the milk of the Word to move onto the meat of the Word and grow deeper in their faith.
The writer of Hebrews then moves onto to chapter 6:4-6 where he seems to be saying with a little bit of sarcastic wit In the light of what I just told you if someone walks away from the faith and then comes back, yes it impossible to restore them to repentance, because once saved always saved. To say anything less would hold the Crucifixion of Jesus in contempt, A fallen believer needs to be repent and be restored to the faith.
Many true Christians have walked away from the faith for one reason or another, but when they realized the error of their ways, they have returned with a true passion for the faith. A true Christian is not know a mere name, they are known by what they do with their faith.