Pentecostal Sermons & Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

Take Your Christianity into Your Culture
A Simplified “7 Mountain” Strategy

  There is a reach-the-world-for-Jesus strategy that has caught the attention of many Christians in recent decades. It goes by various names, but many call it the “Seven Mountain” mandate. It has its enthusiastic followers, also its vocal critics. I’ll leave it to others to debate the particulars. But I do have what I think is a biblical approach to reaching into our culture, which I’ll share here.

In brief, the intent of the seven mountain strategy is to participate in the establishment and victorious expansion of God’s kingdom on earth. This is to be done by bringing the Gospel effectively into what leading teachers of this doctrine call the “seven mountains” or pillars of society — family … religion … education … media … arts & entertainment … business … government. That by itself is certainly a wonderful goal. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said to His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15) and “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

The problems and debates arise, sometimes with great passion, when additional “seven mountain” theories are added to the biblical Great Commission noted just above. One of the worst of those antibiblical theories [note: not taught by all 7 mountain teachers] is the false teaching that Jesus cannot return to earth from heaven until His Church has penetrated and taken control of all 7 segments of society. Then, they wrongly believe, Jesus’ second coming will occur, and He will come down to receive from His followers a world where God’s people are exercising dominion in all segments of society.

That erroneous teaching — again, taught only by some — ignores huge portions of Scripture, for example, the entire 13th chapter of Revelation (vs. 7 - the end-time antichrist/beast will “make war with the saints and overcome them.”) … also the actual Second Coming in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (KJV), where Jesus is seen “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…when He shall come” (vss. 8, 10) … the carnage and bloodshed at His second coming spoken of in Revelation 19:11-21 … “There will be terrible times in the last days…evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13) … and many similar Scriptures. Even a cursory reading of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 reveal Jesus speaking in very sobering terms of the days immediately before His second coming.

By now you may be asking, “But Pastor Jim, don’t you believe that we should bring the Gospel to all segments of society?” My answer: “Absolutely!” I’ve dedicated 50 years of ministry to that goal. That’s what the Lord’s Great Commission tells us to do. And to the extent that the seven mountain adherents pursue that, I say a loud “Amen.” But what the Bible does not tell us we will do is take control of all those segments of our culture and joyfully present them to Jesus at His Coming. That theory is entirely without Scriptural support. And lest we fancy ourselves to be better soul winners than the perfect Son of God Himself, we should remind ourselves that when He walked the earth, some chose to follow Him, but the majority “did not receive Him” (John 1:11) … “they rejected Him” (John 1:11, NLT). It will be like that in the last days. Many will receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and many will reject Him.

My desire today is to share with you three biblical views of God’s people in this world we live in. Are there more biblical truths that could be added? Certainly. But if all Christ’s followers will pursue these three very simple things, each of us can have a Great Commission impact on the culture around us. Will all turn to the Lord and continue on to serve Him and to grow in their faith? No, but many will! Let’s go forth in the three capacities below and bear fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ.

1.  You are the LIGHT of the world

Matthew 5:14, 16  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden… [16] let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

These two short verses are packed with encouragement to us as we work to reach people around us for Jesus Christ.

You — all followers of Christ, not just preachers — are the light of the world. Jesus calls you that.
• That light is not to be hidden.
• Our light, the presence and truth of Christ in us, is to “shine before others.”
• The hope is that “they may see” good deeds in us and thereby…
• …be influenced toward the Lord and the glorifying of God the Father in heaven.

Consider yourself as you are in Jesus’ eyes. He sees each one of you who know and serve Him as the light of the world. Two thousand years ago, when He walked the earth, He said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). After His crucifixion He rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven, and we must now be reminded of His words to us: “You are the light of the world.”

Don’t make this difficult, intimidating, or too hard to accomplish. Jesus is with us, He has given us His Word the Bible, and He has placed His almighty Holy Spirit in us, His born-again people. That makes us light, not darkness! And those walking in the darkness of unforgiven sin and Satanic dominion desperately need to see light around them. Jesus has made you that light!

2.  You are the SALT of the earth

Matthew 5:13  “You are the salt of the earth.”

Are we light? Yes. Jesus also calls us “salt.” The two obvious (and probably main) things Jesus was referring to were salt as a flavoring and salt as a preservative.

Preservative — Western culture today is in steep decline. Biblical morality is ignored, even mocked. Things like civility, honesty, and peaceableness seem to be vanishing. The biblical family is disintegrating, sexual morals are disappearing, the media and arts are cesspools of corruption, and so much more could be said.

Into this increasing societal darkness Jesus has placed His people to be salt, a preservative. We do this by our biblically-based conduct and by our sharing God’s Word with those around us. Romans 5:20 tells us that “where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Consider that, and don’t despair over the darkness you see in our nations. Will sin increase in these last days? Absolutely. The Scriptures tell us that. But the apostle Paul is telling us that right alongside increasing wickedness there will be an even greater increase of God’s grace. Your life and God’s Word on your lips can be vessels of sharing the saving, transforming grace of God with others. His grace in His people is more than a match for sin in the devil’s followers. Remember, Jesus calls you the preserving “salt of the earth.”

Flavoring — We all know that salt heightens the flavor of foods. I enjoy watching “BBQ Pitmasters” on TV. The expert cooks tell you that on a grilled steak or brisket many of them add only salt and pepper, which accentuate the delicious flavor of the meat. You can be like that among the people around you.

Your godly life style and friendly, relatable presence can exert a favorable influence on people. How could it not, as long as you are pursuing transformation into Christ’s “image with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18)? A pastor once wisely said concerning evangelism: “Make friends with people and win them to the Lord.” Your warm, other-centered, Christlike words and lifestyle can be appealing to people and win their friendship and trust. And that in turn opens doors for the effective sharing of the Gospel with them.

3.  You are Christ’s AMBASSADORS

2 Corinthians 5:20  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

We are light and salt to the world, Jesus said. We also have a commission from Him — to be His ambassadors. An ambassador is an authorized representative of a nation and its governmental leadership. He or she possesses delegated authority to speak on behalf of the nation’s president or prime minister or king.

That’s us! My fellow followers of Jesus Christ, our King of Kings, our Lord of lords, has commissioned and empowered us to go forth and represent Him to this world. Just before leaving earth for heaven 2,000 years ago, Jesus told His disciples (then and now): “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Think of that! Jesus, the “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36), gives His people the presence and power of the omnipotent Holy Spirit. And He commissions us as His ambassadors, His empowered representatives, to be His witnesses throughout the earth. Whose witnesses? Not our pet doctrine’s witnesses. Not our church program’s witnesses. We are, quite simply, to BE JESUS’ WITNESSES, sharing with the world the Gospel of salvation through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

In Sum:

It’s not difficult or intimidating. As the apostle Paul wrote, don’t let your “minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV). Don’t get stressed about how you can reach seven mountains or any other complex strategy. Sometimes we let our plans get so complicated that they can end up sapping our energies just thinking about the magnitude of them. Just remember that the Lord Jesus Christ looks on you to be three things for Him to your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers:

1) the light of the world
2) the salt of the earth, a preservative and flavoring to that which is around you
3) His ambassadors with His saving message to a dark, needy world

In your personal ministry to those around you, don’t drift away from “the simplicity that is in Christ.” Be light, salt, and Christ’s ambassadors. And as the the Lord promised, He will be there with you always and working with you to the very end of the age (Mathew 28:20 and Mark 16:20).


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Pentecostal Sermons &
Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.