world to come
6:5 world to come. In context, the author of Hebrews was warning the Jews who had professed faith in Christ not to relapse back into Jewish legalism and ritualism, but rather to go on to full maturity in Christ. The question is whether or not they were actually born again, truly believing on Christ. Could professing Christians be enlightened partakers of the Holy Spirit, having tasted of the heavenly gift and the Word of God, as well as the energizing knowledge of the world to come, without actually being born again Christians? These criteria all certainly apply to real Christian believers, but they also seem to apply, in some measure at least, to the considerable number of men who at one time were members of evangelical churches and later became apostates from the faith. In fact, it often happens that the most vigorous opponents of true Biblical Christianity are men who once were fundamentalist Christians but later—through their studies in evolutionary science, humanistic philosophy or Biblical criticism—came to deny the faith they once had espoused. Such men never return, for they have already understood and rejected all the evidences in both the Word and the world that the gospel is true, and there is nothing more that can be said to win them back. “If we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). It is therefore vitally important that each professing Christian “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (II Corinthians 13:5). “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (II Peter 1:10).