What do these two guys have in common? I mean besides the killer tans? Well maybe more than one would think.
If you have any exposure to Bill Hybels and the Willow Creek Association I am sure you have heard one of Bill’s classic sayings, “the local church is the hope of the world.” I have heard him speak on the topic quite a few times from Leadership Summits to interviews, to sermons. Bill’s talk that goes along with the point is inspirational and moving, not to mention I think dead on. The local church is the hope of the world. Nothing else can bring redemption and the gospel to a hurt and broken world. So what does this have to do with Charles Spurgeon? I mean Hybels is a classic Arminian and Spurgeon was well, quite Reformed.
As I sat down tonight to do some studying I cracked open a Charles Spurgeon sermon as I do on occasion. The sermon I was reading was on the topic of the feeding of the 5000. Spurgeon draws the illustration that like Jesus’ disciples then, we often think the Great Commission is too much, and how can the Church ever meet the needs of the entire world, well here is what Charles Spurgeon says.
And let the entire body of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ–instead of looking to societies for evangelization, or to commerce, or to governments– remember that she is the sole saviour of the world.”
Wait it gets better.
As Christ was the world’s hope, so is the Church the world’s hope, and she must take up the charge as if there were not another.
So maybe Bill Hybels reads a little Spurgeon for his quiet times? Or maybe the Holy Spirit works sovereignly to reveal this immense and life changing truth to Godly men throughout the generations. Either way I say Amen the local church is the hope of the world, and it is not us who will build it, but Jesus. We are simply called to obedience and faith. That is it. Doesn’t that sound simple? I’m just kidding I know its not, but if Jesus can feed 5000 with a few stale loaves and some minnows imagine what he can do with a new creation in Christ like you and I?