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.