There is no question about the depth of genius deposited by God in Steve Jobs. No question about his pursuit to put out products that literally changed the way we communicate. No question about his drive to take complexity and turn it into simplicity.
The world of computers and communications is in debt to such a talented man that is completely visionary. He was not a man ahead of the times. He was a man that was meant for the times we are living in. Millions of people that use these products at any given time of the day are “blessed” to be a part of his story.
No one person can tell you that they weren’t touched when he passed into eternity.
Which is the subject of my blog.
There are two disturbing things that came out after his passing that I have taken note of.
The first thing that is alarming is that he had a chance to come to Christ. According to the many articles that attempted to delve into his private past, we discovered that at the age of 13, he turned away from Christianity and the church when he observed disturbing photos from Life magazine of starving children and he turned to Zen Buddhism.
According to one article, he asked his pastor what would happen to them. The article didn’t give the pastor’s response.
However, it is not excuse enough to “neglect so great salvation” according to Hebrews 2:3. There is no way to escape if we turn away from the greatest salvation offered to man based on the love of God.
Too often, we observe the great accomplishments of people and assume that they will make it into heaven. No religion offers a clear solution to the sin issue. No religion offers a chance to be forgiven and loved based on a display of love unlike any other.
List all of the religions against Christ and you will find nothing close.
The answer to Steve Job’s question is simple.
Sin brought about the maladies of life but through Christ, we can do something about it. We can feed and clothe them. We can be to them what God would want us to be. Selfless acts of love is the true expression of Christ. However, the highest selfless act is when a man lays down his life as Christ did for us.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13
The one distinction. The one thing that makes believing in Christ stand above all the religions in the world combined is the fact that Jesus died for us when He didn’t have to.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Add up all the religions in the world and not one of them would send anyone to die for every man.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but (He) is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
That’s why believing in Christ is not a religion. It’s a relationship. Religion relies on acts. Relationship relies on one act. Through One Man’s righteous act, we can have a relationship with the Father (see John 17:3 and 1 John 1).
With electronic Bibles these days and Google, you can literally type in these verses to see what that verse says. No more excuses about opening a paper Bible and not knowing where to go.
“For by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It (grace) is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Just in case you do not know, Buddhism came from a man named Siddartha Gautama. The dates of his birth and death varies but he was a spiritual teacher. Buddhism means “awakened one” or “enlightened one.” Buddhism is an Eastern religion founded on the subcontinent of India in 528BC?
But with Zen Buddhism, Zen is a Chinese derivative of “Chen” which means “meditation” and according to certain sources, Zen Buddhism relies on “special transmission outside scriptures, not founded on words or letters.”
Which is clearly what autonomy minded people want.
Like all religions, it’s basic core values is very simple but achieving them is predictably complex. Though some of them will give basic statements of what they intend to achieve, the explanations to achieve them is extremely complicated and there is a complete reliance on what you alone must do to achieve it.
It’s all about works whereas with believing in Christ, it is about accepting, by faith, the Father’s provision of salvation. Read Ephesians 2:8-9 again. It is not about “blind faith.” It is about “eyes wide open faith.”
“Behold what manner of love the Father bestowed upon us.”
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
All you have to do is line up each religion side by side and then bring Christ’s gospel, and you will see that salvation is simple.
Steve Jobs took complexity and provided simplicity. He was visionary. He basically dumbed down the way we communicate. Just make a simple comparison to the various products that wanted to “copy” his ideas.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a simple gospel. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. You and your household.”
What are we to believe?
That “God so loved the world (you) that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Enlightenment never deals with getting our sins forgiven and receiving love directly from the Father. Buddhism may say something about sins but Buddhism and comparable religions comes way too short to completely exonerate a person of all sin, even though we are completely guilty of all sin (see Romans 3:23-25).
That’s what the Father’s forgiveness is all about. We deserve the penalty of separation from God because of sin but the Lord loved us so much, He gave His Son to die for us, paying for our sins the we may have eternal life. Eternal life is not just about living forever. It is about a complete change of natures. From an evil nature to a good nature through Christ.
The Father sent Jesus to die for our sins. Then the Father sends the Holy Spirit to take our evil nature out and place the nature of characteristic of Jesus in us so that we can live. It is a simple act of faith. And it only cost you one thing. Completely surrendering your stubborn willingness to do it your way. Because when you can do things your way, you can make up the rules.
Here’s the second thing.
He had a chance to have the cancer removed surgically.
He possibly would still be with us. Driving his Apple hating rivals crazy by making more innovative products. Like iTV, iSatellite, iCable, or something like that. More importantly, perhaps, he might have lived long enough to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It would be wise on your part to take heed to this Scripture. While Steve Jobs lived a modest life without fanfare. While he never got the chance to give away like he planned for the latter end of his life, we will never get a chance to see what other good things he could have done to make the world a better place. While he didn’t live like the rich and famous, he still was in pursuit of gaining the whole world but at what cost?
The loss of his own soul.
“What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36
For most folk, if they live long enough and are afforded long life, sometimes, it takes a while to see that after all of the searching, you come to the place where the Lord Jesus Christ is the best choice, by far.
While we, and his family will miss Steve Jobs and God’s genius planted within him, we lament the fact that he selected two difficult things.
Self reliance on salvation and not getting surgery to save his life.
Luke 13:5 says, “…but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”