The fact that Hebrews 6:7 – 8 is an agrarian metaphor gives Tyndale’s “plowboy” no advantage in understanding the meaning of those verses. Knowledge of Old Covenant Scriptures and/or access to commentaries, though, gives rise to such understanding. Before pursuing such understanding, though, a brief consideration of two more familiar agrarian metaphors is warranted. Jesus’ parables regarding soils and wheat and tares are familiar, to be sure; as is all too often true, however, familiarity in no way ensures understanding.
Just over a month ago, Brian Thornton posted via Voice of the Sheep regarding Jesus’ parables regarding soils and wheat and tares. He wrote:
Someone commented here yesterday and told me in no uncertain terms that the field in this parable is the church, and even said, “sounds like deceptive false teachers vs the true church to me.” This is a good example of the importance of letting Scripture speak for itself, instead of making a ‘to me’ interpretation. Jesus is clear in His explanation that the field is the world. Period. The field is not the church, and while there are certainly false teachers who have crept into the church unnoticed, while there are certainly weeds operating within the church, the church is not supposed to have anything in it but wheat.
This is a major distinction between the Old and New Covenants. Under the Old Covenant, the true church was within the larger group of the nation of Israel. Everyone under the covenant did not know the Lord. Under the New Covenant, however, ‘they will all know Me’, declares the Lord. This is, sadly, an area where our Paedo brothers and sisters continue to blur the lines (by knowingly baptizing unregenerate people into membership) which, under the New Covenant, were supposed to be blurred no longer. The church, the Bride and body of Christ, is to be holy and pure and undefiled. She is not to be mixed with weeds.
(emphases sic) [Comment: Reformed Baptists who “get” so much yet adhere to covenental confessionalism — just as “leaky dispensationalists” adhere to Israel-centered hermeneutics — are close to New Covenant Theology in many ways, yet so committed to system-driven theology that error as to Israel (its contrived identity with the Church or its ostensible status as the focus of God’s plan of redemption) remains firmly rooted.]
A few sentences after the foregoing cogent observation, Brian wrote:
What I am about to say may grate against my Arminian friends, but the truth still remains that the weeds were weeds even before they sprouted, and the good seed was good seed even before it sprouted. Look at what Jesus says in His explanation of the parable. He explains that, “The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil”. Does this not clearly state that the weeds have been weeds from the beginning, even before birth? Is this not in agreement with God’s words in Romans 9 when he said, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau I hated“? Is this not what Jesus was referring to in John when he declared to those who could not hear his message, “You are of your father, the devil” and “You do not believe because you are not of My sheep“?
Similarly, Jesus describes the good seed when He says, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom.” The good seed is the sons of the kingdom. They have always been ‘good seed’, even before their regeneration. Now, before you jump all over me, listen to what I am saying. The good seed, prior to regeneration, was, by nature, children of wrath even as the rest. But, they were never children of wrath, for they were sown by the Son of Man. They were good seed before they were ever planted, not after they made a decision.
Just as the nature of the seed sown by the Son of Man is soveriegnly determined by God, the nature of the soil on which the seed [in the Parable of the Soils, the seed is the message of the Substitutionary Atonement (The Great Exchange: My Sin For His Righteousness, as Jerry Bridges & Bob Bevington put it)] is determined by God. Craig L. Blomberg’s Commentatry on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Eds., includes the following observations regarding the Parable of the Soils (at p. 46):
After Jesus narrates the story of the sower (Matt. 13:3 – 9), the disciples ask him why he speaks to the crowds in parables (13:10). Jesus’ reply appears to suggest that only “insiders” have been selected to understand the “mysteries” of God’s kingdom, not “outsiders” (13:11 – 12). * * * For those without ears to hear, parables seem to conceal more than they reveal, so that hearing and seeing do not lead to true spiritual understanding or perception.
Edgar Andrews, at p. 165 of his A Glorious High Throne: Hebrews Simply Explained, observes regarding the Parable of the Soils:
The idea that false discipleship can imitate the real thing is found throughout the New Testament. The parable of the sower is so familiar that we perhaps overlook the fact that it teaches this very truth. The stony ground and the weed-infested soil both yield initial evidence of germination. The seed settles and grows, but not for long. Yet, until the seedlings become shrivelled or choked, they look genuine enough.
Now, we consider the text at issue — Hebrews 6:7 – 8: “For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end.” George H. Guthrie, at p. 962 of Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, observes:
The agricultural imagery in 6:7 – 8 offers a striking picture of God’s blessing for those who respond to his word and God’s curse on those who do not. * * * Therefore, a case can be made that Hebrews has in mind [ ] Deuteronomy  specifically at 6:8, and the nearness of a curse fits the context of Deuteronomy, with its “blessing or curse” framework.
Thus, several elements from Deuteronomy seem to be echoed in the proverbial imagery of Heb. 6:7 – 8, including the earth that drinks the rain, the blessed over against the cursed land, burning of the land as an image of judgment, and the nearness of God’s judgment.
What, then, of the “thorns and thistles” of Heb. 6:8? The exact form of the words as they occur in 6:8 (akanthas kai tribolous) occurs also in Gen. 3:18, the statement of judgment on Adam, which involved the curse on the ground. It would grow thorns and thistles for him. It seems that Hebrews may be utilizing the material about the curse on the land in Deuteronomy and incorporating into it the curse on the ground from Gen. 3:18. Indeed, a number of Pentateuch scholars suggest that the Genesis passage is one wellspring from which the curse on the land in Deuteronomy flows, and a rabbi of the first century certainly would have seen the verbal analogy between the curse on the earth in Gen. 3:18 and the terminology of curse and land in Deuteronomy.
Andrews, at p. 168, “connects the dots”:
Firstly, we see that the fault does not lie in the gospel ‘rain’, but in the nature of the ‘soil’ on which it falls. This, of course, is essentially the message of [the parable of] ‘the sower’ (though there it is seed that falls, not rain). Gospel truth is always [ ] capable of bearing fruit. But what happens depends on the hearts of those who hear it. In some cases, the heart is good ground, perpared by grace to receive the message of salvation. The result is blessing by God.
In other cases the same rain falls upon soil that harbours seeds of thorns and briars, though this is not at first apparent. Only as the rain germinates the residual seed, do we see the unhappy result. This is the picture of apostasy, which is thus revealed as an inherent condition.
(italics sic, underscore added)
Finally, Paul Ellingworth, at p. 328 of The New International Greek Testament Commentary — NIGTC — The Epistle to the Hebrews , urges that “[t]he context excludes any thought that the purpose of burning is to purify the land for fresh sowing. The theme of the fire of divine judgment is common throughout the Bible. [citations omitted]”
So, with considerable help, we discern that the seemingly obscure conclusion to the warning passage in Hebrews 6 in actuality illustrates the concept that said warning is communicated to all, but operative upon the non-elect. Given the length of this post, Kerry Kinchen’s conclusions regarding whom the Writer addresses will be incorporated into the transition from the warning which is next.