Jon Allbaugh: “This gift is available for everybody. Ultimately, if God is true then he has to be just.”
970 Los Vallecitos Boulevard #110, San Marcos
Denomination: Assembly of God
Pastor: Jon Allbaugh
Born: Kansas City, Kansas
Formation: Vanguard University, Orange County
Years Ordained: 22
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor Jon Allbaugh: On average, I probably take about six to eight hours preparing. I integrate both what God wants to say to my congregation and what Scripture says to make it practical for the listener to have some takeaways as they go home to integrate in their own lives.
SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
PA: The theme I stick with the most is the amazing grace of God and the whole message of how Christ offers reconciliation to a person who’s blown it, made mistakes.
SDR: What is your main concern as member of the clergy?
PA: My main concern would be with the distractions that people have inside our American culture — to get busy with life, with recreation, with pursuits of personal success. With all those distractions, they miss out on the eternal components, that this is a short time in life, and that a relationship with Christ is the most important thing in life. I remember as a little boy back in Kansas dropping rocks in the stream; if I dropped enough rocks in the stream, I could actually redirect the stream a little bit. I’m not going to change it completely. But if I work enough at dropping enough rocks, I can make a new bend in the stream. That’s how I see my job in preaching the Gospel. I don’t believe one message is going to be life-changing for people, but I do my best to stand on the side of the cultural stream and have the biblical message. I keep dropping those rocks in the same place for the same people coming to the church. I believe that eventually it can have a positive influence in their relationship with God over a period of time.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PA: The Bible teaches that if a person has a relationship with Jesus Christ, they’ve asked him to forgive them of their sins because of the work he did on the cross and in his resurrection from the dead. If they embrace that relationship, then regardless of the things they’ve done in the past, they are guaranteed that they will go to Heaven to be with God for eternity. But if they do not take advantage of that gift that God offers, no matter how good they are on the outside, then they will have to pay the price for sin, which is eternal damnation — or Hell. So it’s a crisp one way or the other. For some people, that seems exclusive or harsh, but it’s not when you realize that this gift is available for everybody. Ultimately if God is true then he has to be just. If in some way God is not just, then he can’t be God because he’s blown his own identity. He has to be just by his very nature. So if someone sins, which we all do, and yet that person who sins doesn’t have provision for that, then God must punish that sin. Fortunately, God gives opportunity for everyone not to be punished, but he also has to remain just.