For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift…
The world to come. Is there indeed such a world? Is man to exist beyond the present life? No one comes back from that future to tell us of it, and open to us its experience. To the natural eye man's life goes as does that of the beast; neither his life nor his death speaks anything more. Is this all? Is there no more to man and no more for man than there is to and for the brute creation around him?
I. Our intuitions give us answer. The Creator has given a voice to our soul. It tells us of immortality. It creates the conviction of a "world to come."
2. Also, man's attributes give answer to these questions. Though in some things he is like the brutes that perish, in many things he is most unlike them. In the wonderful gift of speech, in the endowment of reason, in the possession of conscience, in the intelligent and holy emotion of love, he belongs to another domain of being from that in which mere animals have their existence. He is a moral being, and amenable to the bar of right and wrong. Can it be that a being of such capabilities is the mere creature of a day? My whole being revolts at such a conclusion.
3. But finally the Scriptures give answer to these questions.
4. This world to come is very near to us; to some of us oh how near! "The world to come" — can we to-day make this real? Can we open our hearts and enfold the truth that this "world to come" is a "world to come ' to you and to me? Let us bring it near, let us make it personal. The Christian should be glad to do so; it will strengthen his faith, it will confirm his hope, it will quicken his zeal, it will purify his love, it will wean him from this world, it will lift up his life to nobler and holier experiences.
(C. P. Sheldon, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,