“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…”
Letting The Word Say What It Says
Letting God’s word say what it says is the best tool for interpreting scripture that the true student of the Bible can have.
This is assuming, of course, that the student has already prayed and asked the Holy Spirit for His help with understanding the passage in question
The above quotation from the book of Hebrews has been the subject of much controversy within the Church over the decades. Some view this passage as referring to the loss of salvation because of the list of things mentioned that one may have experienced.
These scholars will tell you that if a person has tasted the heavenly gift, shared in the Holy Spirit, and tasted the word of God, surely they are a Christian.
Making It Relatable
Sometimes the simplest way to understand accurately is to compare the passage to something we relate to.
For example, people planning an event (such as a wedding) often go to a food-tasting before they settle on the final menu. The food is sampled at this “tasting,” but the participants only sit down to one meal that features the selected foods. It’s the meal that satisfies and fills up—not the mere tasting of the food.
Jesus said that the bread He eats comes from heaven and that we don’t live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. There is no mention of “tasting” in any of Jesus’ teachings. It’s only when a person follows Jesus as a lifestyle that he or she has actually eaten of the Bread of Life and been made full.
There Are No Taste Tests
Merely tasting the word of God and His heavenly gifts will not lead someone to deny Self, take up his cross, and follow Jesus. Only living by God’s Word, being totally filled with the Holy Spirit, and knowing for sure that you have eternal life will bring about salvation. There are no taste-testings involved in getting into heaven—only the wedding supper of the Lamb where all who are present will be filled.
A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and to outlast the unbearable. —The Reverend Billy Graham