1So let us leave the simple teachings about Christ. Let us grow up as believers. Let us not start all over again with the basic teachings. They taught us that we need to turn away from doing things that lead to death. They taught us that we must have faith in God. 2They taught us about different kinds of baptism. They taught us about placing hands on people. They taught us that people will rise from the dead. They taught us that God will judge everyone. And they taught us that what he decides will last forever.
3If God permits, we will go beyond those teachings and grow up.
4What if some people fall away from the faith? It won't be possible to bring them back. It is true that they have seen the light. They have tasted the heavenly gift. They have shared in the Holy Spirit. 5They have tasted the good things of God's word. They have tasted the powers of the age to come. 6But they have fallen away from the faith. So it won't be possible to bring them back. They won't be able to turn away from their sins. They are losing everything. That's because they are nailing the Son of God to the cross all over again. They are bringing shame on him in front of everyone.
7Some land drinks the rain that falls on it. It produces a crop that is useful to those who farm the land. That land receives God's blessing. 8But other land produces only thorns and weeds. That land isn't worth anything. It is in danger of coming under God's curse. In the end, it will be burned.
9Dear friends, we have to say these things. But we are sure of better things in your case. We are talking about the things that go along with being saved.
10God is fair. He will not forget what you have done. He will remember the love you have shown him. You showed it when you helped his people. And you show it when you keep on helping them.
11We want each of you to be faithful to the very end. We want you to be sure of what you hope for. 12We don't want you to slow down. Instead, be like those who have faith and are patient. They will receive what God promised.
God Keeps His Promise
13When God made his promise to Abraham, he took an oath to keep it. But there was no one greater than himself to take an oath by. So he took his oath by making an appeal to himself.
14He said, "I will certainly bless you. I will give you many children." (Genesis 22:17) 15Abraham was patient while he waited. Then he received what God promised him.
16People take oaths by someone greater than themselves. An oath makes a promise certain. It puts an end to all arguing. 17So God took an oath when he made his promise. He wanted to make it very clear that his purpose does not change. He wanted those who would receive what was promised to know that.
18God took an oath so we would have good reason not to give up. We have run away from everything else to take hold of the hope offered to us in God's promise. So God gave his promise and his oath. Those two things can't change. He couldn't lie about them.
19Our hope is certain. It is something for the soul to hold on to. It is strong and secure. It goes all the way into the Most Holy Room behind the curtain. 20That is where Jesus has gone. He went there to open the way ahead of us. He has become a high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.