1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,6:1 Or from useless rituals and of faith in God, 2instruction about cleansing rites,6:2 Or about baptisms the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.
4It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6and who have fallen6:6 Or age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
The Certainty of God’s Promise
13When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.”6:14 Gen. 22:17 15And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
1So let us move beyond the simple teachings about Christ. Let us grow up as believers. Let us not start all over again with the basic teachings. They taught us that we need to turn away from doing things that lead to death. They taught us that we must have faith in God. 2These basic teachings taught us about different ways of becoming “clean.” They taught us about placing hands of blessing on people. They taught us that people will rise from the dead. They taught us that God will judge everyone. And they taught us that what he decides will last forever. 3If God permits, we will go beyond those teachings and grow up.
4What if some people fall away from the faith? It won’t be possible to bring them back. It is true that they have seen the light. They have tasted the heavenly gift. They have shared in the Holy Spirit. 5They have tasted the good things of God’s word. They have tasted the powers of the age to come. 6But they have fallen away from the faith. So it won’t be possible to bring them back. They won’t be able to turn away from their sins. They are losing everything. That’s because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross all over again. They are bringing shame on him in front of everyone. 7Some land drinks the rain that falls on it. It produces a crop that is useful to those who farm the land. That land receives God’s blessing. 8But other land produces only thorns and weeds. That land isn’t worth anything. It is in danger of coming under God’s curse. In the end, it will be burned.
9Dear friends, we have to say these things. But we are sure of better things in your case. We are talking about the things that have to do with being saved. 10God is fair. He will not forget what you have done. He will remember the love you have shown him. You showed it when you helped his people. And you show it when you keep on helping them. 11We want each of you to be faithful to the very end. If you are, then what you hope for will fully happen. 12We don’t want you to slow down. Instead, be like those who have faith and are patient. They will receive what God promised.
God Keeps His Promise
13When God made his promise to Abraham, God gave his word. There was no one greater than himself to promise by. So he promised by making an appeal to himself. 14He said, “I will certainly bless you. I will give you many children.” (Genesis 22:17) 15Abraham was patient while he waited. Then he received what God promised him.
16People promise things by someone greater than themselves. Giving your word makes a promise certain. It puts an end to all arguing. 17So God gave his word when he made his promise. He wanted to make it very clear that his purpose does not change. He wanted those who would receive what was promised to know this. 18When God made his promise, he gave his word. He did this so we would have good reason not to give up. Instead, we have run to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope is set before us in God’s promise. So God made his promise and gave his word. These two things can’t change. He couldn’t lie about them. 19Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure. It goes all the way into the Most Holy Room behind the curtain. 20That is where Jesus has gone. He went there to open the way ahead of us. He has become a high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.