Today, we talk about Abraham, who is credited by many as the father of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Our concern her is how he was assumedly admitted to heaven even though he died before Jesus was born. If no one enters the kingdom apart from faith in Jesus, how can this be?
First, let’s look at the life of Abraham. He sinned and therefore is the same as you and I. That’s his starting point. He did not seek God. Still, God looked at him differently, as he does us. Why? Because he believed.
Genesis 15:6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Romans 4:3 affirms this as does Hebrews 11:9. Abraham believed what God had told him, and he obeyed. Yes, he sinned, but God forgave him because of his faith. I then began to wonder how Abraham knew that the God he had faith in was the true God. After all, isn’t the problem the fact that we worship any and all other gods except the true God? I found it interesting to note the timeline outlined in Genesis leading up to Abraham. God is recorded as communicating at the Tower of Babel. The next time is with Abraham, something like 350 years apart, although this isn’t certain. Nothing is said about Abraham’s faith until he was an adult. The very first record of that begins thus:
Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram….
Did you see that? It didn’t describe Abrahams’s faith, how he prayed, or how he worshipped, or even to whom. No, the record is that the Lord seemingly initiated everything by speaking to Abram. Now, we could say what we want about that, but keep let’s keep this in mind because we will find that you and I don’t reason our way to discover the true God; he reveals himself to us.
Let’s think about his for a moment. Really, how would it be possible to wade through all the possible gods to determine which one was correct? A common observation is that a person’s faith is largely determined by geography – each region has its own religion. While that is true, born-agains know that we really weren’t Christian until our moment of conversion. That is the moment we had true faith in Jesus, and that is the moment we followed him. Until then, we simply used it as a term of association. Meaningless association.
Still, that doesn’t answer our question about Abraham never knowing Jesus.
Father, keep revealing yourself to us. Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers