Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible. – Doris Lessing
Have you ever been at the pool when a kid, we’ll call him “Jimmy,” tries the high dive for the first time? He climbs the ladder and walks to the edge, but then he freezes.
At first, people cheer Jimmy on; but the longer he waits, the more awkward it becomes. Intimidated and unwilling to jump, Jimmy chooses the walk of shame. Everyone watches as he gingerly backs away from the edge and climbs down the ladder.
What are the chances that Jimmy will try the high dive again later that day? One might say it’s impossible.
This analogy, while imperfect, helps us understand the warning in Hebrews 6:4-6.
We’ve established that the author was likely writing to Edge Standers – nonbelievers attending the fledgling, Jewish-dominated early church. Here we’re given some particular ways that an Edge Stander can experience Christianity without taking the plunge into faith:
1. You can be enlightened – introduced to the knowledge of Christian doctrine.
2. You can taste the heavenly gift – perhaps Jesus or Communion or both.
3. You can share in the Holy Spirit – He is active upon us both before and after belief.
4. You can taste – or hear – the Word of God.
5. You can see the powers of the coming age – witness miracles or spiritual things – without believing. (Judas is an example of someone who experienced Jesus yet still rejected Him.)
Essentially, you can experience much of what Christ has to offer and still decide the risk is too great. You can experience a Christian lifestyle while remaining spiritually dead!
If this is you, don’t turn away. Hebrews tells us that should you turn from the edge and return to your old life, it’s unlikely – no, impossible! – that you’ll ever return to the edge of faith again. Instead, listen to those in the water, encouraging you to take the plunge!
Lord, am I on the edge or in the water? If I’m on the edge, hold my hand – embolden me to jump! If I’m in the water, raise my voice in encouragement and invitation! Amen.
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