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Linda Vista Second Baptist Church: Reaching the Lost

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Norris Jarmon

Linda Vista Second Baptist Church

  • Contact: 2706 Korink Avenue, San Diego 858-277-4008 www.lvsbc.com
  • Membership: 97 (pre-covid: 200-300)
  • Pastor: Norris Jarmon
  • Age: 64
  • Not: Pine Bluff, Alaska
  • Training: Andersonville Theological Seminary, Camilla, GA
  • Ordered years: 12

San Diego Reader: How much time do you spend preparing your sermon?

Pastor Norris Jarmon: My sermons tend to be topical. But I can’t give you the exact time it takes me to prepare a sermon. I am constantly in prayer because I only believe in saying what God has led me to say. I constantly pray for God to lead me, guide me and direct me. He always gives me something to preach on, and I work on my sermons until God says, “OK.” There have been times when I have been working all week preparing a message, and then on Sunday morning something happens where I believe God is leading me in a different way. I had this opportunity while we were doing church from home during the covid period when the church was closed and we were online. I had prepared my message on Sunday morning and there was another word that was in me. I felt a little confused but I knew that God is not the author of confusion. Maybe I should talk about something else, I was thinking. I went into prayer, of course, and got ready for the day to settle in for the service. This word was placed in me and I said, “OK, Lord, if you’re the one telling me what to do, then I need you to give me something”… I didn’t have a week to prepare myself for this sermon; it’s something that happened less than an hour after that Sunday morning. I believe it was very good service and lots of good comments from people.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PJ: Reach the lost, teach the saved, and love one another as Christ loves us. When I say “Reach the lost”, I don’t mean the lost who love us, but the lost, period. People who need to know Jesus Christ. Whether they join this church or not, it doesn’t matter; we just want to make sure they know Jesus Christ. It matters to us more than anything – that people have a relationship with Jesus Christ and come to know Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. Once you begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, He will direct you in the direction you need to go, where you find a good fit.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PJ: I like to say it like this: “Smoker or non-smoker?” You are going to be a smoker or a non-smoker, hell or heaven. But I believe everyone has the opportunity to go to heaven. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you’re doing; what matters is whether you have received Jesus Christ as the lord and savior of your life. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the only begotten son of God will spend eternity in heaven with him. If you believe in him, no matter what, you will spend eternity with him in heaven. If you don’t, you go to the smoking section. But we must also remember that if you have the ability to accept Jesus Christ even in your dying breath, that matters.