“Lot was a Christian. Remember, he followed Abraham.”
That rather intriguing comment was made by the seminary professor teaching the class I am currently auditing at Dallas Theological Seminary. It was made in the context of looking at the Book of Genesis and reviewing what is disclosed in Scripture regarding people who believe the promise of Messiah, the promise first disclosed all the way back in Genesis 3:15, the people who follow the seed of the woman as opposed to the seed of the serpent. Now by the logic of the reasoning of that comment, Abraham, the father of many nations, was a Christian as well. As was probably most of the line of Seth, at least that portion of it detailed in Genesis 5 (remember that these individuals had many sons and daughters besides the men named). You would think that Adam and Eve, after the Fall and facing God, believed the promise of redemption a stated by God (although Eve might have originally believed in the promise manifesting itself in Cain, and we know that wasn’t right), making them the very first Christians under the caveat of following the logic of that opening quote.
The point being made in class was that there was a promise of Messiah that runs through almost the entirety of Scripture, and that the Bible isn’t being viewed correctly if the meaning doesn’t center on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A kind of red thread is woven into Scripture, and it proves to be unbreakable, and it proves to be unbeatable. People following the promise of the seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15 are woven deeply into the Biblical story, and one can do worse than to call them Christians, although their faith predates the knowledge any on earth would have had of the person of Jesus Christ.
There is, of course, the portion of Acts 11:26 that states “…And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” And that is true, believers, the body of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians there. As such, all believers are woven into the red thread, because we believe in the promise of Messiah, for we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the promise manifested in the person of Jesus. But there were many who believed God’s promise before Christ came to save us through His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven; these are woven into the red thread as well.
I called the thread unbreakable and unbeatable, just think of all that was done to try to stop fulfillment of the promise. Think of the twists and turns of the lives of those God selected to be in the line of the seed of the woman. Think of the triumphs and tragedies, think of their failings as humans but their sustenance through faith in the promise.
Think of the crucial pivot of history in the earthly ministry of Jesus, how He obeyed the Father’s will, how He accepted that will in the Garden of Gethsemane and vanquished the enemy once and for all, if even the final victory has been deferred. Think of the power and durable strength of the red thread at that moment in time. Think about what transpired after.
“Remember, Jesus was mocked, lied about, beaten, spat upon, scourged, stripped naked, and in fact, Jesus Himself was abandoned by all of His disciples except John when He was nailed to the cross.”
This I quote from an earlier blog post on our site. We put our Savior through hell on earth. But even what we put Him through could not snap the red thread, tempered by the sinless and obedient nature of Christ on earth, and woven by the love and grace of God in heaven.
Nothing can break the red thread. We, as believers, as members of the body of Christ, are blessed to be called Christians. Those who believed the promise before there was a church are deeply blessed as well. I have no problem thinking of them as Christians, for they believed the promise before it was manifested in Christ’s sacrifice, and isn’t belief the bedrock to anchor one’s faith on?
The red thread began before eternity passed and flowing, runs into eternity future. And we are woven into it in Christ. So share that thread with someone today, for all need to be woven into it as we are.