Questions From Readers
● In view of what is stated at Hebrews 10:26, 27, will dedicated and baptized Christians with hopes of earthly life have a resurrection if they fall away from true worship and die before Armageddon?—P.G., U.S.A.
That scripture reads: “If we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, but there is a certain fearful expectation of judgment and there is a fiery jealousy that is going to consume those in opposition.” An examination of the context shows that the apostle Paul was writing this to Christians who were in the new covenant, had been “sanctified” and so were in line to rule with Christ in heaven. (Heb. 10:15-18, 29; Rom. 8:16, 17; Rev. 5:10) Earlier in the same letter he wrote: “It is impossible as regards those who have once for all been enlightened, and who have tasted the heavenly free gift, and who have become partakers of holy spirit, and who have tasted the fine word of God and powers of the coming system of things, but who have fallen away, to revive them again to repentance, because they impale the Son of God afresh for themselves and expose him to public shame.”—Heb. 6:4-6.
While, in Hebrews chapters six and ten, Paul the apostle was discussing anointed Christians with heavenly hopes who “sin willfully” and refuse to repent, it is reasonable to conclude that the same principle would apply to those of the “great crowd” of “other sheep” with earthly hopes. (Rev. 7:9; John 10:16) If any dedicated Christian who had God’s spirit and the blessing of serving Jehovah turned his back on God, ‘sinned willfully,’ and died still refusing to repent, there is nothing in the Scriptures to indicate that that person would receive a resurrection.
Their situation is not like that of persons before Christ’s time who for a time served God and then fell away. Since we are all sinners condemned to death, the basis for any hope of a resurrection is the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (Rom. 3:23, 24) Once a person has availed himself of that provision and then later rejects it, on what basis can he gain a right standing with God? What other sacrifice is there that can work in his behalf? If he commits some sin, he can seek forgiveness through Christ; but if he rejects Christ, there is no other provision that God has made. The apostle Paul wrote about such ones: “There is no longer any sacrifice for sins left.” That would appear to be true whether the individual formerly had the hope of life in heaven or hope of eternal life on earth.
Christians, then, ‘have need of endurance, in order that, after they have done the will of God, they may receive the fulfillment of the promise.’ So let us earnestly endeavor to be faithful in our service to God—“not the sort that shrink back to destruction, but the sort that have faith to the preserving alive of the soul.”—Heb. 10:36, 39.