If Life Only Came with an “Escape Key”
A few weeks ago, I was working on a sermon at my computer when I accidently pressed a combination of keys I really shouldn’t have pressed. It caused the computer to do something I really didn’t want it to do, so I did something very “unmanly”—I went to the “Help” menu. It told me to press the Escape Key twice to back out of what I had just done. It actually rectified my problem.
A computer’s escape key – for those of you who may not be computer literate – usually cancels or aborts the current operation.
At that moment, I had a flash of insight: “Wouldn’t it be nice if life came with an escape key?” Anytime we made a decision that turned out bad, we could just hit the escape key and back out of our difficulty.
As I thought about it, it dawned on me that there is a lot in common between the computers that set on many of our desks and our lives. Let me share some observations I’ve made about the similarities.
I. LIFE IS LIKE A COMPUTER: THE CPU IS CENTRAL TO EVERYTHING
- CPU is an abbreviation that stands for Central Processing Unit
- the CPU is the soul of your computer
- in terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of any computer system
- the CPU is where calculations and decisions take place
- everything else about a computer is peripheral
- if the CPU is not working right then the monitor, the speakers, the printer, or the scanner really don’t matter – they become expensive paper weights
- they are all useless if the CPU is down
A. LIKE A COMPUTER’S CPU, YOUR SOUL IS CENTRAL TO LIFE – EVERYTHING ELSE IS PERIPHERAL
- have you ever thought much about your soul?
- most people don’t give their souls much thought
- I mean, exactly what is it?
- if I were to ask you to describe your soul to me, could you do it?
- let me give you some help
- your soul is core personality – it is composed of your mind, and your emotions and your will
- they find expression through your physical body
- according to the Scripture, you just do not have a soul, you are a soul
- Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into is nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” KJV
- it is from your soul that you have the ability to think, and to decide, and to feel and these are evidence that we were created in the image of God
- the word soul in the Bible generally means life or total self
- your soul is what gives you your distinctiveness and is what makes each of you different from another
- it performs the logical operations and is the control center for processing instructions and making decisions
- our bodies are important, yes, but in the long run they are peripheral
- in other words, if there is something wrong with your soul, it doesn’t matter how well the body looks or how stylish you dress it up
- Jesus knew this and He told His disciples in His Sermon on the Mount: Luke 12:22-23 “. . . Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” KJV
B. BECAUSE THE CPU IS ‘OUT OF SIGHT’ WE OFTEN TREAT THE PERIPHERALS AS IF THEY WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS AND NEGLECT THE CPU
- most computer users wouldn’t know a CPU if they saw one
- if they popped the lid off of their computer they probably wouldn’t be able to find it
- the typical computer user is more concerned about the peripherals — their keyboard, their mouse, their printer, and their monitor
- these are the things you can “see” and so the computer user takes care of them
- the only time they think about the CPU is when there is a catastrophic failure with the computer
- too many people – including too many Christians – treat their body and soul in the same fashion
- they can’t see their soul and so they concentrate on the body
- what makes the body look good . . .
- what makes the body feel good . . .
- they work hard to keep the body in shape
- the only time they worry about the soul is when they experience a catastrophic failure in life
- Jesus knew that what really mattered in life was the soul
- Matthew 16:24-26 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, . . . what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” KJV
II. LIFE IS LIKE A COMPUTER: THE SOFTWARE HAS BUGS IN IT
- software is nothing more than computer instructions or data that is stored electronically
- software can be divided into two categories:
- System Software – includes the operating system and all the drivers that enable the computer to function
- Application Software – includes programs that do real work for users
- examples include, word processors, spreadsheets, graphics and database management systems, and Bible Study software
- the creators of software intend for their software to be perfect
- programers spend hours – often hundreds of hours – testing and evaluating their software to make sure it works right and will interface with all kinds of computer hardware
- but no matter how hard a programer works three unfailing problems plague computer software
- ONE, software bugs are a fact of life
- no matter how careful they are, programers make mistakes which means that somewhere that software application will have a glitch
- TWO, software viruses are a fact of life
- no matter how careful a user might be, the potential for corrupting your software by accidently introducing a computer virus is always possible
- THREE, software upgrades are a fact of life
- no matter how good the original software might be, programers are always updating and upgrading the software
A. LIKE A COMPUTER’S SOFTWARE OUR SOUL HAS BUGS IN IT
- unlike a computer programer, God created us with perfect software
- our original operating system was bug-free!
- but not long after the creation, man succumbed to Satan’s temptation and disobeyed God
- in that disobedience a spiritual virus was introduced into man’s operating system
- that spiritual virus is called sin
- sin is the bug the corrupts our software
- it’s a spiritual virus that all men are infected with
- Romans 3:10 “As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one.” NCV
- our entire personality – heart, mind, and will – are infiltrated with evil and disobedience
- Ephesians 2:1-3 “In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God.2 Yes, in the past you lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God.3 In the past all of us lived like them, trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God’s anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people.” KJV
- just like a computer virus can cause your software program to die . . .
- so too, the spiritual virus called sin brings death to us
- because of sin, all men will die physically
- because of sin, all men who do not give their heart and life to Jesus Christ will also die spiritually
- the results of spiritual death is eternity in hell
III. LIFE IS LIKE A COMPUTER – CRASHES USUALLY COME WITH LITTLE OR NO WARNING
- a computer crash is a serious computer failure
- ILLUS. Anyone who has used a computer long enough is familiar with what is called “The Blue Screen of Death.” You see it when there has been some kind of error in the core operating system of the CPU from which it cannot recover. They call it the Blue Screen of Death because the screen turns blue and you see the fateful words, ‘Fatal exception error’. At that point your computer locks up. Immediately following that, you release a blood-curdling scream and entertain with the idea of chucking your computer out the nearest window.
- a crash usually signifies a very serious software bug
- the problem with computers is that you don’t know where the bugs in the software are at until the computer suddenly and unexpectedly stops functioning
A. BECAUSE OF THE SPIRITUAL VIRUS CALLED SIN, YOUR LIFE WILL EVENTUALLY CRASH
- Ezekiel 18:4 “Every living thing belongs to me. The life of the parent is mine, and the life of the child is mine. The person who sins is the one who will die.” NCV
- if Jesus is not your Savior and Lord, the Bible refers to you as a natural man
- the natural man is centered on himself and has no defense against Satan’s temptations
- the natural man is spiritually dead
- because the natural man is spiritually dead he cannot relate to God in truth
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 “A person who does not have the Spirit does not accept the truths that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks they are foolish and cannot understand them, because they can only be judged to be true by the Spirit.” NCV
- they will control your mind, your emotions, and your will
- even strong-willed and disciplined persons are not able to overcome the sin in their life
- no matter how many good things he does, the Bible says that the natural man cannot please God
- Romans 8:8 “Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God.” NCV
- but it is going to crash and it’s going to crash hard
- Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,” NIV
IV. LIFE IS LIKE A COMPUTER – THE ANSWER TO SOFTWARE CRASHES IS TO REBOOT AND UPDATE
- reboot means to restart a computer
- there are warm reboots which means you restart the computer by clicking on the computer’s restart button
- there are also cold reboots which means you completely turn the computer off, let it power down, and then turn it back on
- when you reboot a computer it resets everything to it’s original configuration so that the computer works again
- rebooting, however, does not fix the bug in the software that caused the computer to crash in the first place
- unless you discover the reason for the crash, the computer is going to crash again
- in the computer world there are what computer programers call patches and fixes
- these are the additions to the software that solve the problem that causes the software to crash in the first place
A. IF YOU ARE GOING TO KEEP YOUR SOUL FROM CRASHING YOU NEED TO REBOOT YOUR LIFE AND PATCH IT WITH GOD’S FIX
- if you are not a Christian this morning, you need to perform a cold spiritual reboot
- just like a computer dies when you turn off the power, so too, you need to die to self and begin a whole new life with Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord
- Romans 10:9-10 “. . . if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” NIV
- and the good news is that the upgrade to eternal life if free
- the chief programer has absorbed the cost Himself and offers the fix free to all who ask for it
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV
- Ephesians 2:13-15 “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away from God are brought near through the blood of Christ’s death.14 Christ himself is our peace.” NCV
- Hebrews 2:3 “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”
- in other words you need to confess your sin and give control of your life back to God
Let me close with a twist on an old Psalm:
"The Lord is my programmer, I shall not crash.
He installed his software on the hard disk of my heart;
all of His commands are user friendly;
His directory guides me to the right choices for His name's sake.
Even though I scroll through the problems of life, I will fear no bugs, for He is my backup;
His password protects me;
He prepares a menu before me in the presence of my enemies;
His help is only a keystroke away.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and my file will be merged with His and saved forever."