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From tablet to tablet - The gospel according to technology

Published:Saturday | July 27, 2019 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Pastor Samuel Neves

Have you ever thought about how the people of old managed life without much of what we have today?

According to associate director of communication at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Maryland, USA, Pastor Samuel Neves, we enjoy a life of convenience, so much so that we begin to give the things that offer such convenience all the praise, and easily forget about God.

“It has always been grace (that has kept us). If it were the law that brought salvation, God would have come six months before, give the tablet and said follow these 10 (commandments) and we’ll see how you do. It has never been the law that saves; it has always been grace. When we lose the distinction between who we are and who God is, we are lost.”

Neves, who was speaking at the Global Adventist Internet Network Conference held in Montego Bay recently, said it is important for us to acknowledge what truly matters, and not be lost as a result of the abuse of what exists.

“All of the commandments are given, and in every one of them is the definitive that God is God and we are not: it is for our freedom that God sets the rules.”

He added, “The first tablet established that God is in control and we should follow Him. These tablets (today) establish that you are in control that’s why it’s called an iPad. In this way, we are at the centre of our will, we are independent beings that do not need anyone else to tell us what to do. We do what we like, and watch what we like, and we are totally independent from anyone else in our decisions. But, the sad part of that story is that if you believe it, you are the most manipulated individual in the universe.”

He said it is easy to become lost when you stray from the true source of all life.

“The further you are from Jesus, the closer you are to the world, the more like others you become. The closer you are to Jesus, the more independent and unique you become. There is freedom in discipline.”

In making reference to the parable of the five talents, Neves said God has blessed us each with talents to do His greater work, not to allow the world to make us complacent.

“Equality terms have come up with the idea that we should all be the same. Equality of opportunity comes from God. They all have the same opportunity to do their best with the talents they received. Equality of outcome was never a part of the kingdom. Sometimes we get so caught up with this idea that we should all have exactly the same that we forget to develop the gifts that we have been given.”

Why does God give according to each ability? he questioned.

“God will not give resources to you that you are not ready to take care of. It’s a hard message. No one will do what God has given you the talent to do. There is a light that shines from you and if you don’t bring that light forth, the world will be in darkness because of the shovel you use to bury your talent.”

He said much like technology, in particular websites that increase one’s ranking based on the number of followers one has, the instructions given by God demands that we work hard to nurture and develop what we have been given.

“There are no shortcuts to developing your talents: you have to put in the work, day in and day out; you have to get better at it; turn your five talents into 10, but know it takes work. Nothing ever worth doing is easy.

“My challenge to you today is not to stay outside the door and lose your salvation because you kept a close relationship with the devil’s shovel. Bring your talents back and develop them, day in and day out. Do the hard work because the church needs you; God’s mission needs you and if you decide not to do it, no one else can replace you,” he ended.