These types of questions can be tricky because we may not know all there is to know about these men and their commitment to the Lord.  It is said of Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:6, “…Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I HAVE CHOSEN HIM TO BE MY SON, AND I WILL BE HIS FATHER.  Although Solomon fell into gross sin later in his life, this verse seems to say that he truly was a child of God and was truly saved.

King Saul is another one who was chosen of God to be king, yet rebelled and disobeyed the Lord many times.  He sought often to kill David, who would be king after Saul.  In 1 Samuel 18, we have the account of Saul’s death.  Saul was concerned about the upcoming battle with the Philistines.  When he enquired of the Lord for guidance, the Lord refused to answer him.  So, Saul, breaking both the Lord’s law and his own, sought someone with a ‘familiar spirit’ to raise the spirit of Samuel so that he could get advice from him.  We read the words of this ‘risen’ Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:18-19, “Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and TOMORROW SHALT THOU AND THY SONS BE WITH ME: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”  Some tend to think that this is an assurance to Saul that he would be in Heaven the next day.  However, this apparent promise doesn’t have an attitude of joy and glad anticipation at all.  It seems to be merely telling Saul that he would die the next day.

Of course, when we try to determine someone’s salvation, we are limited to what we see on the outside.  We can see actions, and we can hear words, but it’s the Lord who “looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)  We are assured in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  It is only the Lord “which knowest the hearts of all men.” (Acts 1:24)

Let’s consider Lot in the book of Genesis.

  • Lot, when given the option, chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah. (13:10)
  • Lot ‘pitched his tent toward Sodom’, indicating that’s where his desire was. (13:12)
  • Lot offered his two daughters to the men of Sodom who wanted his visitors. (19:8)
  • Lot had to be taken by the hand to flee Sodom and Gomorrah before its destruction. (19:16)
  • Lot impregnated both of his daughters. (19:36)

If this was all we knew about Lot, we would surely say that he was not a saved men.  This incredible behavior of his surely indicates an ungodly heart.  Yet, we read in 2 Peter 2:6-7, “and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered RIGHTEOUS LOT, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” (NKJV)  So, we learn here that Lot was indeed righteous and that his heart was burdened by what he saw and did in those wicked cities.  The Lord knew Lot’s heart just as He knows EVERY heart, including yours and mine.

There are times that we can determine that a person is NOT saved.  If one should tell you that he is trusting in Allah to save him; if one should say he is good enough on his own to merit Heaven; if one should say his good works have saved him, we can ascertain by the Word of God that none of these things will save anyone, so if a person is trusting in anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ as savior and Lord…that person is NOT saved.  If that happens, we then have the opportunity and privilege to point them to the one way of salvation…the Lord Jesus Christ.  May we be faithful to do so.  (216.10)