For it is IMPOSSIBLE, in case of those once enlightened, who have tasted the Heavenly gift ( HS), and shared in the HS, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God ( Eucharist) and powers of age to come, and then have FALLEN AWAY, to restore them again to repentance, since they ARE CRUCIFYING once again the Son of God.
So ...sounds dogmatic and FINAL. Does the Church hold it as so, or have another understanding ?
CCC 679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He “acquired” this right by his cross. the Father has given “all judgement to the Son”.586 Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.587 By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one’s works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.588
What is it to be “enlightened” and so fully aware of the great gift God has given to us?
Hebrews 6:7 goes on to say “Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God.”
Might not that rain repeatedly falling on the ground be someone not fully enlightened hearing the Good News over and over again? While not fully enlightened, a person might regress. Once fully enlightened, fully aware of all that God is, all that God does, all that creation is - then having received all the knowledge and wisdom God has intended man to have, and only then, could I entertain the possibility of someone having fallen away and be unable to come to repentance.
We are taught by the Church you can not be fully accountable for even mortal sin if you lack sufficient knowledge, free will, and consent.
This letter was written to a specific group, at a specific time, with a specific problem. The particular passage is to rally the people and help them not to fall into apostasy. They were becoming lax from the toils and of the demands of daily life as Christians.
25* Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “Are not you also one of his disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants * of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed
No concensus reached - there hasn’t been a post there for awhile. I’ve been waiting for a response from “guanophore” to my last post defending my position. In #930 I state,
“The author of Hebrews writes to a group of Hebrew “Christians” and recognizes that he addresses some true, but immature Christians, and, as is not uncommon, some false professing Christians.”
I’ve made a case for that. That thread was “assurance of salvation” where I took the affirmative postion. Since I don’t believe there are “venial” sins - all sins are “mortal” in the way that they grieve the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:23) - I presented the Scriptural argument all of Jesus’ sheep (true Christians, John 10:28 - very clear Greek in that verse that the sheep NEVER perish), can have the assurance of salvation. Heb 6:4-8 was presented to me with the idea that true Christian’s can lose their salvation.
Needless to say, that interpretation of Heb 6:4-8 doesn’t set well with John 10:28. Or with John 6:37-40, and John 6:44. Quite a few verses were discussed in that lengthy thread. It was an interesting and significant discussion for me.
We also discussed Judas, as you mentioned, and I think guanophore and I agreed that he was never a true Christian (one of the elect, sheep).
According to St. Thomas Aquinas the passage should be understood in the context of the Sacrament of Baptism which cannot be repeated.
Therefore, it must be understood, as Augustine says, that he does not say that it is impossible to repent, but that it is impossible to be renewed again, i.e., baptized: ‘By the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Spirit’ (Tit 3:5). For a man could never repent in such a way that he could be baptized again. The Apostle says this because according to the Law, the Jews were baptized frequently, as is shown in Mark (chap. 7). Consequently, it was in order to remove that error that the Apostle says this.
– Then when he says, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account, he gives the reason why baptism cannot be repeated, namely because baptism is a configuration to Christ’s death, as is clear from Romans (6:13); ‘all we who are baptized in Christ, are baptized in his death.’ But this death is not repeated, because ‘Christ rising again from the dead, dies now no more’ (Rom. 6:9). Therefore, those who are repeatedly baptized crucify Christ again. Or, another way, it denotes that is is repugnant to Christ’s grace for people to sin frequently and then be baptized again. Then the emphasis is not on the repitition of baptism, but on the falling away of the sinner, who, as far as in him lies, crucifies Christ again: ‘Christ died once for our sins’ (1 Pt. 3:18). Therefore, when you sin after baptism, then as far as in you lies, you give occasion for Christ to be crucified again; and in this way hold him up to contempt and stain yourself, washed in His blood: ‘He loved us and washed us fro our sins in his blood’ (Rev. 1:15).
Is Jesus wrong when He says His sheep will never perish? (John 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. Amplified Bible) In John 10:28 the Greek is very explicit and clear - “never” means not now or at any future time.
If a true Christian sins such that he loses his salvation and dies and goes to hell, do we need to correct Jesus when he says, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40 ESV at Biblegateway)
My problem is that I don’t want to correct Jesus and say “Your sheep can perish and You can lose some of them because of their sins and lost faith.”
Why would you have to say that Christ was wrong? He DOES know who will persevere to the end and remain His sheep, and who will die in their sins and be made vessels of wrath. He is outside of time and present throughout it simultaneously. His grace is sufficient, and those who reject it do so freely. How does Christ’s knowledge of our fate invalidate mortal sin and falling from grace?
Very well stated, that used to be my Proof Text for OSAS belief…until Catholics taught me it was errant ( using large # of scriptures & example of Judas being lost.
But, I think you are right …doesn’t Jesus have the final word on subject. It would be very presumptuous to argue against our Savior.
We need to reopen that OSAS thread … or since it is so long, start anew !! I need to find out what B4 now thinks on Judas’ circumstance.
The website linked in the quote is The Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews by St. Thomas Aquinas. I am unaware of any official pronouncements on the passage. The Haydock Commentary refers to the Baptismal interpretation and alternatively mentions that it might mean it is very difficult to return to the Sacrament of Penance after very heinous sins.
For it is impossible,  &c. This is an obscure place, differently expounded, which shows how rash it is for the ignorant to pretend to understand the holy Scriptures. Many understand these words, it is impossible, &c. of the sacrament of penance, or of returning to God by a profitable repentance, especially after such heinous sins as an apostacy from the true faith. But then we must take the word impossible, to imply no more than a thing that is very hard to be done, or that seldom happens, as when it is said, (Matt. xix. 26.) that it is impossible for rich men to be saved: and (Luke xvii. 1.) it is impossible that scandals should not come. For it is certain that it is never impossible for the greatest sinners to repent by the assistance which God offers them, who has also left the power to his ministers to forgive in his name the greatest sins.
But others (whose interpretation seems preferable) expound this of baptism, which can only be given once. The words here in the text very much favour this exposition, when it is said, who were once enlightened. For baptism in the first ages was called the sacrament of illumination. See S. Denis de cælesti Hierar. c. iv. S. Greg. Naz. &c.
They cannot be renewed again unto penance. That is, they cannot be renewed again by baptism, which is also called a renovation. Tit. iii. 5. Their sins may indeed be forgiven them in the sacrament of penance, but this is not a renovation like that in baptism, in which both the guilt, and all pain due to past sins, is remitted; whereas in the sacrament of penance, though the guilt, and the eternal punishments due to sins be remitted, yet many times, temporal punishments, to be undergone either in this world or the next, still remain due to such as have been great sinners, to them who by relapsing into the same sins, have crucified again to themselves the Son of God, making a mockery of him; i.e. who, insensible of the favours received, have ungratefully renewed sin; to take away which Christ suffered, was mocked, crucified, &c. Wi.
I agree however that ‘impossible’ … probably means unlikely… since Grace can make an impossibility possible.
If a rich man faces severe trials, he can awaken, and ‘drawing’ grace bring him to repentance.
However, if we allow this understanding for the word ‘impossible’ …then, according to St. THOMAS … in certain cases, Second Baptisms could be EFFICACIOUS.
And, I don’t think the Church would agree …as it would go against Dogma.