One of the misconceptions of many Christians today is the great emphasis on having an experience. We tend to dabble within the Christian religion with an idea that God loves us more when we attend church or perform good deeds. We tend to exalt the Christian experience because it gives us some sort of high. Can I tell you that these “Christian experiences” can be a dangerous thing?
While I was studying Hebrews, I found two passages of scripture that really bothered me. Those were Hebrews 4:4-6 and Hebrews 6:4-6. At first glance it seemed to me that whoever wrote Hebrews was spreading an idea that I have never agreed with. That is the idea that it is possible for us to lose our salvation. This is one of the times that I really wanted to go back to the Greek origin of the New Testament, but the Greek language is not something that I know. Regardless of my lack of knowledge, I attempted to answer the question I had about these two passages.
For the sake of space I will only use one of the above scriptures, Hebrews 6:4-6.
It reads, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again.”
To be enlightened is to gain a greater knowledge or understanding about a subject or situation. I believe that this verse speaks about God actually revealing Himself to someone to improve his or her knowledge or understanding about Him. To “taste” of a heavenly gift, which is the Spirit given to us by God, is less than to completely accept. To “share in the Holy Spirit” is less than having the spirit for ourselves. To “taste in the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age” is less than to live by the word of God and to live in the power of the coming age, which is the very power of God.
In short, a religious experience cannot save anyone. To dabble is to taste and share. This verse is not a contradiction, by any means, to the salvation that we believe in. It is impossible for a man, or woman, who relies on a religious experience alone to be saved if they fall away.
Why is this? To put it simply, it is because this person did not have the relationship necessary to be saved in the first place. This person was enlightened, or was exposed to God in a way that caused them to understand what was necessary for salvation, yet he or she did not step above the experience, or spiritual high.
Some of us really need to think about the stock that we place on the experience of Christianity. When we think about it, this is what many of us live for. We attend church on Sunday morning, Journey on Sunday night, church on Wednesday night followed directly by Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 905 on Tuesday night, and Noonday on Friday afternoon.
The question is: are we relying on these things to fill us up rather than a true relationship with God?
These Christian experiences may cause a spiritual high, which we might compare to a small flame within us, but we have to realize that our God is not a small flame. He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).
Religious experiences are by no means a negative thing, but they will not save us. The only thing that will save us is a conscious decision, on our part, to truly make Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives, and to truly believe that He conquered death for us (Romans 10:9). To make Jesus “Lord” of our lives, we have to do more than taste, or share, in Him. We have to be consumed by Him. What good is it only to know about Christ without the conscious decision to know Christ? Make that decision now.
Oh yes, if we have made that decision, we can be confident in the fact that God will never forsake us. If that were a part of His nature, He would not have come to Earth to pay for the sins of a people that sinned against Him in the first place. If that were true, God would not be God. Just incase you need scriptural reference, open your copy of God’s word to Romans 8:38-39.