Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible. — Doris Lessing

Have you ever been at the pool when “Jimmy,” tries the high dive for the first time? He climbs the ladder, walks to the edge, but then he freezes. 

At first, people cheer Jimmy on; but the longer he waits, the more awkward it becomes. Unwilling to jump, Jimmy chooses the walk of shame. Everyone watches as he backs away from the edge and climbs down the ladder. It’s unlikely that Jimmy will try the high dive again later that day. 

This analogy can help us understand the warning in Hebrews 6:4-6. 

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 and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. 

We’ve established that the author was likely writing to nonbelievers attending the Jewish-dominated early church. Here’s how an Edge Stander can experience Christianity without taking the plunge into faith: 

  • You can be enlightened—introduced to the knowledge of Christian doctrine. 
  • You can taste the heavenly gift—perhaps Jesus or Communion. 
  • You can share in the Holy Spirit—He is active upon us both before and after belief. 
  • You can taste—or hear—the Word of God. 
  • 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.) 

You can experience what Christ offers and still decide the risk is too great. You can experience a Christian lifestyle yet remain 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.