You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
26 For [gar] if we [hemon] sin [hamartano] wilfully [hekousios] after [meta] that we have received [lambano] the knowledge [epignosis] of the truth [aletheia], there remaineth [apoleipo] no more [ouketi] sacrifice [thusia] for [peri] sins [hamartia],
27 But [de] a certain [tis] fearful [phoberos] looking for [ekdoche] of judgment [krisis] and [kai] fiery [pur] indignation [zelos], which shall [mello] devour [esthio] the adversaries [hupenantios]. KJV-Interlinear
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. NASB
There are two types of apostasy. The first is due to the rejection of the gospel of Christ. This applies to unbelievers. The second is due to the rejection of Bible doctrine after one has been saved. This applies to believers who are simply indifferent toward their spiritual life.
The first type - the rejection of salvation is by far the worst of the two. The Old Testament has several passages which describe unbelieving apostasy, and one such passage can be found in Deuteronomy.
13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying,' Let us go and serve other gods' (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. And if it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. 16 Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt. NASB
Total destruction without any possibility of recovery is what awaits the unbeliever. Christ has a few comments as well.
49 'So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. NASB
We have studied the Lake of Fire and its terrifying environment, but we will briefly review the Lake of Fire because that is part of the subject of this passage.
Anyone who knowingly rejects the gospel will be sent to the Lake of Fire at the end of human history. Who will go? That is the key point in this passage.
The word used here for knowledge is 'epignosis.' This refers to clear and unquestioning understanding of the gospel and the repercussions of rejecting it. People who hear the gospel, understand it, and reject it, will go to the Lake of Fire at the end of history.
In the interim, when people (unbelievers) die, they go to a place called Torments. That is one of the four compartments in the underworld. The underworld is referred to as Hades, in the scriptures. There they await their final judgment. That final judgment is the Great White Throne which will be held immediately following the conclusion of the Millennium. This is a judgment that no one in their right mind would want to the target of. However, all unbelievers in history will be there for their final judgment.
Note, that all sin has been judged and that applies to unbelievers as well. But unbelievers are not condemned to the Lake of Fire based on their sins. They are condemned on their rejection of the only means of eternal life - faith in Christ. Their 'going on sinning' is their continued rejection of the Gospel, of Christ, and of Gods plan for their salvation. Refusing that path, they in effect choose to live their lives apart from everything having to do with God. Since God holds all things together in the universe, then that power and order is rejected by unbelievers in favor of total chaos.
The Lake of Fire is not a giant saloon with cigars, jokes, booze, fast women, and tough guys. Anyone destined to the Lake of Fire will go there in total darkness where they won't be able to see anyone. They will be trapped in a total state of incapacity. Like having no arms and no legs and no means of movement. They will be subjected to an eternal fire which gives off no light but only intense pain. Life will be like being trapped inside a tight fitting coffin, in total darkness, totally alone, buried inside a volcano with extremely hot lava, but still living. And that is not the worst of it all. Since you are like the dead, then there will be the environment of the dead, as maggots and bugs galore, crawl all over you, eating at you, and there is nothing that you can do to stop them. And, this will go on forever.
Gruesome? Yes, but then this picture which the Bible paints, is intended to scare you at least into not wanting to go to the Lake of Fire. Salvation is infinitely better.
If you have not believed in Christ, then do not pretend that you don't understand this because God knows your understanding, and God has many witnesses to verify your stubborn rejection. You, as an unbeliever, will lose as never before, and this last loss in your life will be a permanent one.
There is no other sacrifice for unbelievers to look to for their salvation. Islam will not save. Judaism will not save. Hinduism will not save. Buddhism will not save. None of the religions of the world will save you. Apathy or atheism will not put you in a better position to define your own eternal destiny.
All people have only, repeat, only two choices in life with regard to their destiny. You either believe in Christ or your don't. There is no third option.
None of us will live forever in this world. We will all one day die and then comes the harsh reality of judgment for those who have rejected Christ. This is a certainty.
What would it hurt to simply believe in Christ? It takes virtually no effort to accomplish that belief. 'Father, I believe in Jesus Christ.'
Yet the Bible teaches that there will be those who will no only reject Christ during this life, but when they die, they will continue in Torments, with their rejection, and when they are brought before Christ at the great White Throne, even when brought face to face with the Lake of Fire, they will continue to reject Christ, who will be seated right in front of them. That is stubbornness to the maximum. The quintessence of closed minded refusing to see the truth, stupidity.
If you are reading this and have not believed in Christ, then do not be as stupid as those others. Believe in Christ and begin your new life with the promise of a guaranteed life in heaven.
Likewise, if you are a believer, then don't you be stupid too, and follow the same pattern of indifference of rejecting your daily study and consequently your spiritual growth.
Just as Heaven is infinitely superior to the Lake of Fire, so too the blessings of spiritual maturity are infinitely superior to the blessings of spiritual immaturity.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.