John 6: 51
Lets look at this verse, as its a wonder... John 6:51. Jesus speaking...." I AM < (God) the living bread which came down from heaven;.. and if ANY man eat of this bread, he (they, you, me) live forever: and the bread that i will give is my flesh....which i will GIVE (salvation is a free Gift), for the LIFE of the world.. = "give for the life of the world"
Jesus speaking : "I AM (notice that He uses this title a lot when talking about Himself, as this is God referring to Himself as "The Great I Am"). So, Yeshua is constantly reminding us that He is not just the "Son" , He is indeed and literally God Himself who is the One manifested in a human body .. 1st Timothy 3:16. And notice that this verse im about to talk to you about relates specifically to John 3:16. And notice that God manifested in the flesh is 1 Timother 3:16. And if you read John 3:16, you see how neatly and perfectly God is drawing a Divine String through His word, in these verses and many more..... always connecting the dots, always placing interesting CLUES and "light bulb" moments in His word for any and all who "study to show yourself approved"...
How to see this verse's main point using scripture to explain it. There is the spiritual way and means to understand all NT verses. In that you compare scripture with scripture... You use the Word to explain itself.. The word teaches you the word.. And the way God has implemented this is that He does not always or even often use a verse, followed by a verse, followed by a verse, in some type of continuing consecutive order, to explain a doctrine, etc.. No. What He does is put it all in a circle that you have to study to find and thus understand. In other words, He has created the NT to be a sort of spiritual puzzle and you are to SEE the Light more and more as you connect the pieces. And these pieces are scattered, as in a circle that is all over the NT. For example, you might discover a piece of doctrinal Light in one verse in Romans, and then later, in Jude, or in John you'll SEE another piece that connects, and then in Acts there is another piece that connects, and this is always how you "study"... Its by a lot of reading that God will show your inner- man all these pieces that keep connecting and connecting as you go through the word, again and again.
So, lets look at this verse in a few parts so that we can see .......
1. "If any man EAT of this Bread". And what is the Bread? and how do you eat it? Well, the "bread" of course is the body of Christ on the Cross. And symbolically its a part of Communion... Now, here we go.... Remember that Christ said... "Man shall not live by bread alone"?...... hummmm.. "but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God".... So, isn't that interesting? And how does that work, within the context of this verse? Well, how do you eat the body of Christ so that you (have eternal life) become born again? As in this verse the "eating" says that if you do it, you shall "live forever".. So how do you do this? Simple. the "eating" that allows God to give you "life forever", which is eternal life, is to have Faith in Christ. To Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved....(born again) And so all this is explained by this verse..... John 6:47. : Jesus says unto you, All that BELIEVE IN ME, = HAVE Eternal life"... So, you have this verse that says to eat the Bread who came down from Heaven which if you do, imparts a consequence.. And to eat Him, the "bread",= Jesus..... means to have Faith, to BELIEVE, (Having faith is spiritually eating) and by this spiritual eating, you then become born again, which means you "live forever".. And why? Because the One who is Eternal Life, the one you just ate, (believed on) (Faith), is now in you and you are "in Christ", so, because you have Him, you have Eternal Life, as He IS, eternal life. 1 John 5: 11-13. Read it.
2. "give for the LIFE of the World". This is interesting, because now this verse is speaking universally, with a condition, regarding giving Eternal Life to the "world". And here we understand that Salvation, The Blood Atonement, is Jesus dying for the "world". John 3:16 This means, the world of humanity, for all time, and especially subsequent to the lifting of the Cross and the bodily resurrection of The Christ.
"I came so that you can have LIFE"... And who is "you"? = All that eat the Bread. (Faith), and what is the "life"? = Eternal Life, who IS Jesus, and when you have Him, its because you have eaten Him, (Faith), and now you are "in Christ", and Christ is "in you, the <>hope of Glory"<>", = This phrase, "hope of Glory"... is a true understanding of the One who is our Heavenly Hope, who IS our Eternal Life, living inside us, who is going to bring us to Heaven, because Jesus IS the/our "Resurrection and the Life".
So, in John 6:51, we see that to eat the bread that imparts eternal life, simply means to "believe on the Lord, and you shall be saved", with its symbolic counterpart being taking Communion. And we see that this verse is speaking specifically and universally regarding the One who said, "I am the resurrection and the life", and "i came to give LIFE (eternal life) and that more abundantly"... to all of the world, with the condition being, that this gift of the One who Himself is Eternal life, has to be "eaten".....that is to say, believed on, = by Faith. So that is the eternal result for us, if we do what the verse tells us to do, with the opposite and dire consequence of you not believing or eating Him, who is the Bread of Life, is that "if you do not (eat) believe that I AM He, then you will die in your sin(s)",...... And also said in John 3:36, = that God's judgment and wrath is waiting to be delivered as an eternal sentence to ALL who lived and died and never ate the Living Bread, = died a Christ rejector and WILL face God unforgiven. This is damnation. This is Eternal, and its a FREEWILL choice that someone makes that God accepts. And this reader, is why a person who ends up in Hell and the Lake of Fire, can never honestly or accurately accuse God of sending them there, as all God does, is accept your FREEWILL choice, and from there, your choice while you were living decided where you ended up, after you Died.
Choose wisely if you are reading this, and are not yet a believer in Christ.
Trust in Christ today, believe on Jesus today in your heart, kneel at the Cross today, and later meet God as your Loving Father and not as your Eternal Judge.
By Jonathan BeWell
Yes! My old and gone comic book collection was quite questionable. If they had comic books like this around these days I would get back into the hobby. Can anyone recommend titles in print and for sale now? Such would make great Christmas gifts.
Before reading, just know that is a long text, and may seem like something ridiculous and not needing to bother with to most of y'all, but this means a lot to me, and I keep hoping to find answers, but can't find any, so that's why I'm here...
Hey, Everyone! I am fairly new to this Forum and excited to be a part of it! I was born into the faith, and have been a Christian my entire life (I'm 17 years old, lol). It wasn't until around I was about 12 or 13, though, that I began to become more interested in Christianity and the Bible, and at the age of 15, I discovered Apologetics, which helped me retain my faith that I was struggling with at the time. Thanks to that, I now have learned much more about Christianity than I ever thought I would, and I am so happy to know that Christ is Lord and that I am a Follower of Him!
So y'all are probably wondering "what does any of this have to do with Tupac Shakur, as named in the title?" Well, that's where the questions come in.
For any who don't know, Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was a rapper who went by the stage names MC New York, 2Pac, and Makaveli. He was born in New York, and then moved to Maryland where he attended the Baltimore Academy of Arts (I believe that's what it is called), but then moved to California at the age of 17, where he was introduced to the drug and ghetto culture, where dealing, gang violence, sex, and robberies were frequent and even promoted. He was brought up as a thug, due to this, and incorporated this message in many of his songs.
Unlike many rappers today though, when Tupac rapped about drugs and crime, he didn't do it in an attempt to glorify them, he did it to show the consequences of dabbling with them and tried to show those that didn't live that lifestyle, what it's like to live it. Tupac even made songs that, to me, were very powerful. His songs such as: Changes, Dear Mama, Brenda's Got A Baby, Until the End of Time, etc. are enough to make one tear up (I did with Brenda's Got A Baby). Me, being born into the ghetto and being raised in a household of domestic violence, I began to feel extremely attached to his music and his message. I began to binge several of his interviews, videos, albums, films, etc. It got to the point to where he felt like a friend of mine, or even, family.
Then, I saw an interview where he was asked his religious views, and this is where it gets downhill. His songs and poems show that he was an extremely strong believer in God, but when he is asked about what he follows, he responds, stating that he believes that if you are good in your heart and do good things, then you are closer to God. But if you're evil in your heart and do bad things, then you're closer to the Devil. But he then went on to say that the Bible, he believes, was made by a person who wanted to find a way to control people. He says that the Bible says that certain people (prophets, patriarchs, etc) are good because they suffered a lot. He then went on to say that he got shot 5 times, and that he was 'crucified' by the media, and he 'walked through with the thorns on', and he told the thief (probably someone in the jail he was in) that 'this ain't supposed to happen, I'll come back for you.' Then he clarified by saying that he ain't saying he's Jesus, but that people go through that type of 'stuff' everyday. He then went on to attack a lot of what he sees as selfishness by megachurches and gigantic cathedrals who won't help homeless people who need God (although I don't have an issue with that point). During this interview, he was quick to make sure that he wasn't trying to disrespect anyone's beliefs, and that these things he's saying are simply his opinions only.
This broke my heart. I thought Tupac, someone who I see as an inspiration, was a full on believer! I began to overspeculate, and came to several conclusions, one of which was that Tupac wasn't being entirely truthful in the interview, as he does have different tones with different interviewers, and that he truly did believe in the Bible, but then I felt like I was lying to myself. There several factors that contribute to my continued belief that Tupac was a Christian. Such as:
- He had a giant tattoo of a cross on his back
- He had a tattoo of a cross, along with Jesus' face, with the words "Only God Can Judge Me" on his arm
- His most frequently worn necklace was a necklace of a cross
- He was extremely close to his mother, who was a very devout Christian, who even claimed that the group she was in (Black Panther Party) failed because they didn't involve God
- In many of his songs, he implements Christian tones: "Hail Mary", "Only God Can Judge Me", "Black Jesuz", "Ghetto Gospel", "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"
- Many of his lyrics point to a Christian belief:
"Father please forgive me for my life of sin, my hard stare seems to scare my sister's kids.." (Until the End of Time)
"Get on yo knees to pray, Oh Lord, Help me change my ways, and show a lil mercy on judgment day, it ain't me I was raised this way.." (Hell 4 a Hustla)
"Is there a ghetto in heaven or do I go to hell?" (Gotta Survive)
"Picture a world where black babies can survive past five, but we must keep hope, quotin the reverend from the pulpit.." (Everything You Own)
"Question for the Lord, why don't He like me, please guard my soul" (High Speed)
"Just another lost soul stuck callin Jehovah.. Father how the heck did I survive these five shots?" (All Out)
"and I wonder if the Lord ever heard of me.." ([Song Title Contains Profanity])
"and I pray to black Jesus to please take the rest of me.." (As The World Turns)
"Before I go to sleep I pray and thank the Lord for another fruitful day.." ([Song Title Contains Profanity])
"Dear God I been feeling like I'm close to Jesus.." (Catchin Feelings)
"And God said He should send His one begotten son
to lead the wild into the ways of the man
Follow me; eat my flesh, flesh and my flesh" & "Catch me father please, cause I'm fallin," (Hail Mary)
"Cry later but for now let's enjoy the laughter
God bless the dead" (God Bless the Dead)
"Dear Lord..How can I survive? Got me askin white Jesus
will a brotha live or die, cause the Lord can't see us
in the deep dark clouds of the projects, ain't no sunshine
No sunny days and we only play sometimes" (Still I Rise)
"Keep yo' head up and try to keep the faith
And pray for better days" (Better Dayz)
"Searchin for Black Jesus
It's hard, it's hard
We need help out here
So we searchins for Black Jesus
It's like a Saint, that we pray to in the ghetto, to get us through" (Black Jesuz)
"Who do you believe in?
I put my faith in God
Blessed and still breathing
And even though it's hard
That's who I believe in
Before I'm leaving
I'm asking the grieving
Who do you believe in?" (Who Do You Believe In)
These things often comfort me. In regards to Christianity, the closest he ever came to "insulting" it, is saying that the Bible wasn't "written by God". He harshly criticized pastors, priests, and especially televangelists, but he never once, not once, ever spoke bad about Jesus Christ. And even though he didn't hold the Bible in the same regard as we do here, he never insulted any prophet or person in the Bible that is shown as good.
What's strange though, is that, in an interview after this, Tupac, while acting in a movie called "Gang Related", states that his faith is in "Black Jesus" and that he has "been gifted by God, by Black Jesus". Here, Tupac refers to Jesus as God, (the reason he uses the term "Black Jesus", is because he wants to make it clear that he doesn't have the same thought pattern as WASP Christians) (also, note that this interview isn't part of the movie, lol).
In an interview with MTV (I believe this was his last interview before he was eventually shot and killed), he compares Judas' Betrayal to his competition in the music industry. I don't remember what he said exactly, but it's easy to find online, and it's very short.
After he was shot, he didn't die on the spot, but instead, fell into a coma and was rushed to the hospital, where he was alive for about 3-6 days until he eventually died from his wounds. During this time, he was visited by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and his aunt, Gloria Cox, both of whom were devout Christians, and they had with them, in Tupac's hospital room, an Evangelist, who was Tupac's aunt Gloria's cousin, who visited Tupac all the time and prayed over him, and also put oil over him and put a healing cloth on him, while he was still shot up and unconscious, but still alive. He eventually passed away, with the last ones seeing him pass on, being his mother and aunt.
Now some of y'all may have a question of your own when reading this: "Why do you care so much?". Well, because I feel extremely close to Tupac, and he touched on so many things that meant a lot to me, and what he said are things that I very much relate to. He feels kind of like a best friend, or even a brother sometimes. I don't let this cloud my judgement, though, as there are aspects of him that I don't agree with. I don't want to follow the life he lived, and I believe that Biggie handled their feud in a much more mature manner and tried to calm people on both sides down, whereas Tupac, due to growing up in the ghetto and already being shot 5 times, became extremely paranoid and reacted somewhat militantly (though, only verbally, not physically). But as Tupac said, he didn't want to be seen as a role model, but instead, show the world what he alone was like.
With all this being said, there are some questions I have regarding this.
1) Tupac promoted songs and messages of righteousness, with some gangsta-type themes, only so he could connect and reach out to the people who lived in ghetto hood areas. First and foremost, 2Pac believed in helping the poor, and fought for those who couldn't, but often times his anger did get the best of him, and he would act out on it, but then regret it later on. ~ Does this make him more of a no good thug rather than someone who can be seen as good?
2) Despite him not believing the divine context of the Bible (at least not at the time of the interview), do you think he could still be considered a Christian? He held a very strong and firm belief in God, and believed in the teachings of Christ as well. His Gang Related interview shows him calling Black Jesus, God. Maybe he could've been what is called an "Agnostic Christian"? What is the minimum requirement to being called a "Christian"?
3) Would you say that Tupac made it into Heaven? Or that it seems like He could've? He did exactly what Jesus taught people to do in His Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, but he didn't seem to believe in Biblical authority, but he did refer to Jesus as God. This means he took Him as his "Lord", but I'm not sure if he then also took him as his "Savior". His body art and songs seem to show a promotion of Christian belief, though. I remember reading about King Solomon who was once righteous in the Eyes of God, but then turned to idolatry and had several women as his wives and concubines. I don't think Solomon would've landed in Hell though, so I don't think that what Tupac did, would've landed him in Hell (but I'm not the one to make that judgement).
Sorry for seeming somewhat dramatic, and over thinking the faith and actions of one man, but the reason I do this, is because I love Tupac and I genuinely care about his condition and his faith. If there's anyone here, especially a fan of 2Pac who may also know about his life, who can give an answer, then as Tupac said in Dear Mama, "you are appreciated". I kindly ask for as many answers that can be received as possible. Thank you, and God Bless!
The end result of salvation, is, that you are accepted by God. = Heaven is gained.
Salvation, Grace, the Blood Atonement, (same) is the sole and singular method and entire means that God uses and provides, to accept you, and keep you as His, forever.
Some, who are very self righteous, have the misconception that God saves them, and then they keep themselves saved. (Legalism).
Of course all religion including Christian heretics would argue that man has some part in saving themselves..... But how can this be so? After all, what can you possibly offer God that would compete with or equal the Shed Blood of Jesus?
If you are saved, you came to the Cross a sinner, and from the Cross Jesus Himself redeemed you. And your part in that is what? What is it? To RECEIVE WHAT GOD has provided for you thru the Cross, is your part.
But what about living holy later? Well, that is what comes later, AFTER what SAVED YOU< Saved you FIRST.
God did it, you get it, and you dont get any credit for it, unless you have nail holes in your wrists and rose from the dead after dying for the sin of the world.
Is that you? No. There is only One.
So, some who are very self righteous, have the idea that after Jesus's blood ALONE has redeemed them, then their "holy lifestyle" kicks in as THEIR 2nd part of God's salvation plan. And of course, think......= if God didnt accept you or your lifestyle before He saved you, do you think He will accept your lifestyle later, along with the Blood of Jesus to save you and keep you saved?
Funny how people can be so religious and so self righteous and try to take some of the credit for their salvation, instead of giving God and Christ all the credit for what they did, and they did, only.
So what is it exactly that God did to save us and keep us saved? What is another way to look at Redemption, as there are many, and i'll offer you one now....
Well, to find an answer, you have to know the problem, first.. And so, what is the only problem that an unsaved human being has, that is keeping God from accepting them and taking them into His family?
Its only one problem = Sin. This little word has great implication into eternity, as if this word, .. if what it means regarding each and everyone is not dealt with while you are breathing, then you will be dealing with the end result from the day you die until ............. Never ends. John 3:36 is the current situation facing every person who is not a believer in Christ and has NOT been born again. And God is not Joking. Look at the shed blood on the Cross and realize how serious God is about sin and the consequences of unforgiven sin, in eternity. Reader, if you are not saved then ......understand this.....Your SIN, cost Jesus His sinless life, and if you do not come to the Cross, then your sin is going to cost you your eternity, and there will be no second chance after you are dead. Christ died on the EARTH, and you take Him as your own savior on the EARTH, or not.. You do not get a redo, or a "take 2", after you die, and realize then the TRUTH, that im telling you right now.
So, what did God do for you, that resolves your sin issue, and mine, so that He can accept us, on HIS TERMS< and keep us, based on HIS FINAL SOLUTION> ?
Very simple. He , God, is merciful to our UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THEREFOR..... OUR SIN ONCE FORGIVEN at the CROSS, HE WILL REMEMBER NO MORE. For the born again, Its as if we never sinned. And this position "in Christ" continues from the moment of our new birth, until forever., as that is the effect of eternal justification that is given as the "free gift of salvation", "the gift of Righteousness", that is created and kept by the Blood Atonement.
God deals with our unrighteousness, our sin, by Jesus becoming sin on the cross and taking the judgement for it all. Our entire lifetime of sinning, the eternal judgement due each of us for this....= This is the "cup" that Jesus spoke about that He was about to face. = The whipping and then the Cross and Death.
This is HOW God dealt with the unrighteousness of the entire world. He died for it. John 3:16 And this Death, is the mercy and grace of God giving righteousness in place of our unrighteousness.
This is Salvation.
This is Grace.
This is the "Gift of Righteousness", and we dont earn it, and we dont keep it, as it is given and kept by the same Holy One who provided it, for free.