The author has disclosed truths about eternal salvation that are often not fully considered. Paul taught that having been reconciled through the death of God's Son, "how much more" shall we be saved through His life. (Romans 5:10) It is the issue of the life of Christ beyond His sacrificial offering that the author has revealed as the requirement for eternal salvation. To support his presentation and to ensure validity he has authenticated his position through extensive Scriptural referencing.
The author asks the question "Am I okay? Are you okay?" concerning one's eternal hope and examines the fullness of this issue from a Biblical perspective. The reader will find that many assumptions and presumptions have infiltrated modern teaching and that the truth may not be what he had imagined. Many readers will be required to challenge their understanding according to the evidences of the Scriptures and all will find ready access to many useful teachings.
Those who read through the book will understand the Lord's command to love the Lord their God with all of their mind, soul, and heart, and those who take to heart the teachings enclosed will find their spiritual walk greatly enriched.
Many believers hold that once they have made a confession of faith they are considered to be in him and that they will remain in him for eternity. Being "in Christ" is not necessarily a permanent status. A person may choose not to remain there. Christ told his disciples, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you." (Jn 15:4)212 And later he taught, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (Jn 15:7) This is a conditional statement, allowing that a person might not remain in him and that his promise rests on those who do. John has explained that the requirement of "remaining" in Christ requires the believer to maintain the truths he or she has heard from the beginning.213
The position of remaining in Christ is a matter of a person's will and only the person's will. He or she may die to the flesh --become a servant of righteousness-and remain in Christ or may take over control and live apart from Christ. The revelation of the need for obedience or to practice faith to the end in order to gain eternal salvation is presented in several places in the Scriptures.214 Christ stated, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (Jn 15:1–2, emphasis added) Permanence in the family of God comes with obedience to the Spirit.
It is those who are "in" Christ, those whose walk is according to Christ's leadership, who will enjoy his deliverance, not those who "claim" to be in him. If they are "in him" they go where he goes and do what he wills. A person cannot remain "in" him and take a different path. John has written, "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,'212 but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." (1 Jn 2 3─ 6) The believer no longer has to satisfy the law through his or her own resources in order to be righteous in God's sight and prepared for his kingdom; Christ came to dwell in the believer for that purpose. "I have not come to abolish them [the Law or the Prophets] but to fulfill them." (Mt 5:17) According to Paul, "he [Christ] condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." (Rom 8:3–4) The reality of being "in Christ" requires that a person be led by Christ. It is through obedience and submission to him that a person's relationship with God is maintained. The Lord's leadership is both for righteousness leading to holiness215 and for service.
Russell is retired from teaching and counselling. His commitment to Christ was made fifty years ago and in the course of time he has served in many church ministries from youth work, teaching adults, to counselling and pulpit ministry. He has also served extensively with the Youth for Christ organization, locally and nationally. Upon retirement, he has extensively examined numerous "truths" about which he had become conflicted, seeking to discern and share the truths of the Scriptures. His studies have been confined to a careful examination of God's Word, enveloped in prayer and meditation, and with a sincere effort to avoid preconceived prejudices. This writing is the result of his journey to discern Biblical truth concerning eternal salvation first for himself and then for others. He lives in a small community, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, which is nestled along Lake Ontario. He is married to his wife Tracey, with six children, and six grandchildren.