So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity a again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don't need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.
You don't need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.
For it is impossible to restore to repentance those who were once enlightened -- those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit,
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come --
and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people to repentance again because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross again by rejecting him, holding him up to public shame.
When the ground soaks up the rain that falls on it and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has the blessing of God.
But if a field bears thistles and thorns, it is useless. The farmer will condemn that field and burn it.
Dear friends, even though we are talking like this, we really don't believe that it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation.
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do.
Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.
Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience.
For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
"I will certainly bless you richly, and I will multiply your descendants into countless millions." b15
Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.
When people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding.
God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.
So God has given us both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can take new courage, for we can hold on to his promise with confidence.
This confidence is like a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain of heaven into God's inner sanctuary.
Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the line of Melchizedek.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)