Steve Jobs didn’t have a lot to say. He didn’t give a lot of speeches, except for a famous graduation address at Stanford University. He was a private man. He didn’t take to the podium to advance his causes except when unveiling his new products.
Yet Jobs changed the history of communication. He made the world accessible to us, and us to the world. He turned “I” into a lower-case phenomenon and squeezed all our bulky entertainment systems into portable devices. Jobs’ mission was delivering as much content possible, to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, and as portably and affordably as possible.
Steve Jobs wasn’t a perfect man. But perhaps his commitment to his own mission will remind us of our commitment to ours. We’re to rededicate ourselves every day to deliver the Gospel to as many people possible, as quickly as possible, and as portably and affordably as possible.
What Is Different?
I’m impressed that Christians have always used the most advanced technologies of their day for delivering the Gospel. Though the world had changed little in his day, Paul took advantage of even the smallest technological advancements. He used papyrus instead of parchment. Roman roads instead of self-made trails. Greek in addition to Hebrew.
Paul used every means available to him. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). He didn’t compromise his morals or his message but took a variety of approaches as he spoke to Jews in the synagogue, Gentiles in the arena, philosophers in the marketplace, or despots in the palace.
Since New Testament days Christians have followed his example in using “all means” to spread the Gospel. In the 1400s, Johannes Gutenberg changed the world with his printing press—and what was the first book that rolled out of its movable type? The Bible, of course.
A Christian inventor named James Clerk Maxwell first proposed the existence of electronic wavelengths, a discovery that led to the invention of radio. Public broadcasts began in 1920 in Pittsburgh. It took exactly two months for Christians to begin utilizing this new medium to spread the Gospel.
Jump forward to 1992. The first text message ever sent was by British engineer Neil Papworth. It was a two-word greeting with a Christian theme: “Merry Christmas.”
Our expanding technology allows us to reach more people with the message of the birth, death, and Resurrection of Christ. Yes, we’re aware of the moral dangers of our advancements. But that’s all the more reason to harness it for Christ.
What Has Not Changed?
The more the world changes, the more it stays the same. People are still sinners. And the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still our only hope.
I grew up in an era in which thousands of people came to the Lord through tract distribution, area-wide crusades, and door-to-door visitation. Some of those methods are still useful today; others less so. But the Gospel is exactly the same as the apostle Paul presented in 1 Corinthians 15: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand.… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (verses 1-4). The ministry of soul winning is never out of season. It’s just one person telling another the wonderful grace of Jesus.
Instead of reduced options, we have more ways than ever to share Christ. Our evangelistic passions must be strong enough to share the Gospel with apostolic boldness in every form and forum possible.
Steve Jobs’ address to the graduates of Stanford University was poignant: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it,” he said. We should live each day as if it were our last and seek to do those things that really matter. It’s one thing to make an impact on this planet, but it’s another to make a difference for eternity. Don’t be afraid to try something new when it comes to evangelism.
Let’s always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us a reason for the hope that’s within us. Let’s say with Paul, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God, and serves as
Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information about Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
The military operation that killed Osama bin Laden was dramatic but fairly typical: soldiers, helicopters, and guns. The Navy SEALs that carried out the mission represented centuries of military strategy: armed men, on the ground, seeking to take out the enemy.
But later, when another Al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed, the operation was one that armies of past decades wouldn’t have believed. Al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, but there were no Americans or materials on the ground at the scene of the attack. An armed drone was flying silently thousands of feet above him. The pilot was thousands of miles away at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada using this small, computer-controlled plane deploying a laser-guided bomb.
Yesterday it was called “science fiction.” Today it’s called “technology.” But the Bible calls it “prophecy”!Is It Possible to Serve Two Masters?
Unlike some of you reading this article, I was around long before there were personal computers. That means I recall what some of the first personal computers were like—compared to the more powerful models now.
I’m not a computer genius by any means, but I think I have the following right: For many years, personal computers had only one processor. That means the earliest personal computers could do only one thing at a time. Eventually, the processors were able to handle more than one task at a time—multitasking, they called it. Still, if you were trying to do two tasks at once, both would be slowed down as the processor switched rapidly between the two tasks.
Today, it’s a different world. A college student can be typing up the notes from the video lecture he’s streaming online while listening to music while downloading a movie he plans to watch when the lecture is finished. In other words, there’s some serious multitasking power on today’s computers.The Garment
Clothing designers are some of the most creative people on earth. The dress, slacks, pants, jacket, or shirt you’re wearing right now is the result of armies of people working day and night to produce clothing for the world’s 7 billion people. Most garments are mass-produced, and fashion is a global industry that represents one of the largest employers on the planet.
Think of what goes into your wardrobe. From the development and processing of the raw materials, to the designers, to the manufacturers, to the sales force and advertising departments, to the retail outlets—the world of apparel is a huge player in the global economy, providing paychecks for everyone from underpaid seamstresses to overpaid executives at Vogue.
All designers—young or old, local or global—dream of sewing their label into our garments. The designer’s mark is a source of prestige and profit. Sometimes that label is stitched discreetly inside our clothing, but sometimes the logo or designer’s mark is visible on the outside for everyone to see.
If you’ve ever been able to help someone in need, then you know the truth of Jesus’ words: “It is better to give than to receive.” Dr. David Jeremiah continues his focus on stewardship by sharing some tools and tips for becoming an enthusiastic giver, so you can enjoy the many blessings that result.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah