Q. I have another question about OSAS. Last time we discussed Hebrews 10. This time I have a question involving Hebrews 12:15-17. Is it possible for a Christian to proverbially “sell their birthright”, as Esau did, to the point where there is no repentance for them?
A. In Hebrews 12:15-17 the writer is cautioning us to see to it that no one takes the Lord’s incredible offer of salvation lightly and therefore misses the Grace of God. If we hear his call, we dare not refuse.
He used the example of Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Easu’s father Isaac was a very wealthy man who had also been given stewardship over God’s promise to Abraham. Being considered to inherit all this was a great honor, and when Esau showed how little he thought of it by practically giving it away before he had even received it, he demonstrated his godlessness. When Isaac refused to reconsider, Esau expressed regret, but not repentance.
So it will be with those who by their dismissive response to the Gospel “throw away” their chance to be saved before they’ve even received it. It’s a demonstration of godlessness that they’ll regret through all of eternity.
Remember the first rule of Biblical interpretation. Always use clear verses to help you understand obscure ones. God cannot contradict Himself, saying one thing in one place and something else in another. This passage is not easily understood, and without knowing the clear promises of God as to the permanence of our salvation, we could easily misinterpret it and inadvertently confuse others as well.
2 Cor 1:21-22 is a good example of such a clear promise. “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Comparing that promise with Hebrews 12:15-17 shows that the writer of Hebrews can’t be talking about losing our salvation. Confirming that, we can start digging and discover the true meaning of the passage.