I’m teaching through the Book of Hebrews right now. There are passages in this epistle that divide entire systems of theology, but those are issues for greater minds.
I’m a pastor first, and a theologian second … or maybe fourth … or even tenth.
Theologians preoccupy themselves with the origin and development of a thought. I’d rather talk about the impact of those thoughts on the lives of people I love and shepherd.
I don’t believe there is one text in the Book of Hebrews that tells true believers that they should fear losing eternal life. I strongly believe that there are some stern warnings to believers that they can lose the fullest experience of eternal life–intimacy with Jesus Christ and significance in His Kingdom.
The impact of those two differing views is dramatic.
Those who believe that eternal life must be earned or kept will spend the rest of their lives explaining away the warning passages of Hebrews as warnings to other people who just think they’re okay. This means that they’ll need to accept the anesthetizing rationalizations of religion that explain why their personal sins are okay, but it’s the sins of others that are unacceptable to their God.
Those who believe that eternal life is a gift freely given will spend the rest of their lives stunned by grace, and wanting to respond to the warning passages of Hebrews as warnings that apply to them. Because it’s not okay to live outside of the loving guidance of God, and there’s something to be lost that’s real and precious.
Not eternal life, but intimacy with the One who paid the price for our eternal life.
Please Comment: If you disagree with me, let her rip. I’d love to try to understand your view.