Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Indian Bottom Association, I greet you in the name of Jesus and humbly comply with your request of last year. Apostle Paul wrote in First Corinthians 1:10, " Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement." First John 4:7, "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God." Romans 13:10, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
If we have love it comes from God. Just loving our own is not enough. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." This love of God is our love and it comes by birth.
Condemnation for sin comes upon everyone that has reached the age of accountability. The drawing power of our Father God teaches us what we are and what we must become. When a poor lost soul that is condemmed to eternal damnation believes, and when that poor lost sould repents, unconditionally, a miracle of the highest order takes place. Then and only then is the love of God shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost, which is given to us.
The love of God cannot be learned. It cannot be adopted. It can never be faked. You have it or you don't have it. This love comes from God, but it can be increased." Little Children love one another." Love makes us not afraid.
God commands, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Does love abound among us? We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. Yet too often we see churches paralyzed by factions. Some are committed to the will of the few instead of the welfare of the whole. If there ever has been a time for us to love one another it is now.
Our Children are facing evil and temptation like we have never seen before. They need and are searching for a pillar of stability. They desperately need to see the Old Regular Baptist Church as their beacon. May God help us to show them the love we have for each other, and our love for them. When they see us, they should see a smile and not a frown. They should see rejoicing and not complaining. They should see joy and not always sorrow. They should always get a warm hug and never be ignored. If we, the Old Regular Baptists are not their best friend, shame on us. If we have love, real love, love that brings tears to our eyes, and compassion to our hearts, God will prosper his obedient children.
We have reached forth our hand to many searching for a Godly and peaceful home. Let us reach farther to those who live in sin, whether they are on drugs, alcoholics, adulterers, fornicators, unnaturals, thieves or ignorers of salvation. These may be our children and so were some of us before we were born again. Let them see us as unwavering in Godliness and ever shining in kindness.
My dearly beloved, you have loved me beyond measure. You have been so good to me. The responsibility placed upon me as your moderator has been a heavy load to bear. But, time and time again I have felt the guiding hand of the Lord. I want you to know also that your love has lifted me through many a tempest.
I Love you!
May God bless and prosper the Indian Bottom Association of Old Regular Baptists.
Elder Elwood Cornett
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