A very difficult text! But a text that differentiates the fake from the genuine, the agents of satan and Messengers of God, error from truth, evil from good. Our focus is on vv5-6. Our introductory verses 1-3 are equally important. Foundational truths are equally important. Without them, one cannot differentiate what is from satan from what is from God.
Repentance from dead works
Faith towards God
Teaching of baptisms
laying on of hands
resurrection of the dead and
eternal judgment, separate what is God's from satan's. Those who still do these things are still busy with the works of the flesh and cannot produce the fruit of the spirit
Missing New Beginnings
Can happen despite the presence of tears - Esau Heb 12:17 "Could my tears forever flow"
Can happen despite fervent prayers of the saints - Pharaoh Ex 10:17 & Simon Acts 8:24
Can happen despite the best of sermons and anointing John the Baptist preaching to Herod Mk 6:20
Can happen despite one's fervent zeal - Saul thought he was doing God a favour by persecuting Christians Acts 26:9 "Could my zeal no respite know"
Can happen despite one's fear of judgment - Ahab knew God would judge him for Naboth's vineyard 1Kings 21:1ff
Embracing new beginnings
Tasting "the heavenly gift" is about goodness of God Ps 34: cf 1Pt 2:3 and His graciousness. Not all tasting is pleasurable
Becoming partakers of "the Holy Spirit" this means to be a "comrade/partner" Luke 5:7 and still commit unpardonable sin.
Tasting "the goodness of the word of God" Notice: (i) that it is not the word of God but its goodness (ii) logos tou Theou and not Theou rhema. Heb 4:2, 12 the logos Must be in rhema.
Tasting "the goodness of powers of the age to come" The thrust of this is not so much the origin but "the sphere" or "environment" Matt 17: 4 Peter's experience at mount of transfiguration.
This spells out one thing, many would-be followers of Christ will fall by the wayside and live to regret the miserable future they have booked for themselves i.e. of being turned away and denied by the Christ they professed and preached Matt 7:21ff