The Freefall is an amusement ride developed by Giovanola. Two generations of this ride were designed and marketed throughout the world by the Swiss company Intamin. The first series of Freefall rides can be identified by the angled supports at the base of the lift tower. The second generation were identical, but the tower’s base structure on these variants did not taper outward. The Freefall ride went out of style near the end of the 1999’s, replaced by new technology such as the Gyro Drop and compressed air tower rides. What I learned last week is that you don’t have to go to an amusement park to experience falling.
For [it is impossible to restore to repentance] those who have once been enlightened [spiritually] and who have tasted and consciously experienced the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted and consciously experienced the good word of God and the powers of the age (world) to come, 6 and then have fallen away—it is impossible to bring them back again to repentance, since they again nail the Son of God on the cross [for as far as they are concerned, they are treating the death of Christ as if they were not saved by it], and are holding Him up again to public disgrace, Hebrews 6:4-6.
The author of Hebrews suggests that when individuals enter into a personal relationship with God, the Holy Spirit elevates and lifts up your faith. Spiritual enlightenment gives people access to a heavenly gift, tasting the fruits of the Holy Spirit. However, if you look back down at your former life, tempted to return, you can expect a great fall. Modern terminology refers to this as back sliding away from God to indulge in temporary pleasures of the world. To those who change their course, the passage above compares this behavior to crucifying Jesus on the cross over and over again. At some point, you have to snap out of this spiritual free fall before its to late.
For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God], Hebrews 10:26-27.
Five chapters later, the author of Hebrews unveils the fate of those falling farther away from God. The imagery above suggests that some people will just barely get into heaven, by the skin of their pants. Just prior to any spiritual freefall is marked by idleness, a lack of concentration, direction and guidance. A disciple of Jesus refers to this as lukewarm, losing your love and passion for Jesus. If believers do not feed and meditate upon the Word of God, it won’t be long before hearts, minds and souls begin to look back, over the edge toward the world. Jesus compares this behavior to a farmer who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back, Luke 9:62. If you want to save yourself from anguish, pain and suffering, fix your eyes on Jesus to avoid future free falls, Hebrews 12:1-2.
by Jay Mankus