The Peril of Falling Away
1Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrines of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2with instructiona about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do if God permits.b 4For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. 7For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.
9Though we speak thus, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things that belong to salvation. 10For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. 11And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Certainty of God's Promise
13For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." 15And thus Abraham,c having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, 18so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchiz'edek.