Continuing with the theme of diligence, let’s consider what the writer of Hebrews said a little further on: “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:11–12 niv). We not only need to be diligent, but we also need to be diligent to the very end. The opposite of diligence is stated there in plain words: “to become lazy.” Not physically lazy, but spiritually lazy.
For this very reason, make every effort [“giv[e] all diligence” nkjv] to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:5–7 niv)
The Christian life is not static. It is a life of adding, growth, and progress. To be static in the Christian life is to backslide. To do that adding, as described in the passage above, requires diligence. It requires making every effort. Peter then went on with an if:
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. (verses 8–9 niv)
Would you believe that it is possible for somebody to be cleansed from his past sins and then forget that it even happened? It sounds unrealistic, but Scripture indicates that it is possible.