When we look at what the Bible has to say about Lot in the OT, we would say he was never saved. But II Peter 2:6-8 declares plainly that he had a righteous soul. Therefore, he was saved. This brings us to the question, when and where did Lot get saved?
We cannot go to a definite scripture that says when or where he was saved, but we can apply some Bible principles concerning salvation and come up with a proximity of when and where he was saved.
First, we have to conclude that Lot did not have as much light (truth; understanding) as Abraham; therefore, he could not have been saved until after Abraham. With this principle being true, we must establish when and where Abraham got saved before we can begin to pinpoint Lot's salvation.
It is not hard to establish when and where Abraham got saved if we would just look at scripture. Paul said in Rom. 4:3, "For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Paul stated this same basic verse in Gal. 3:6 and James quoted it in James 2:23. The scripture they quoted is Genesis 15:6 which clearly reveals the time, because Genesis 15:1 says, "After these things."
After what things? After God appeared unto him in Mesopotamia and said, "Get thee out of thy country, and from they kindred, and go into the land which I shall shew thee (shew thee as you go)." (Acts 7:2-3) After he had dwelt in Haran for a number of years (unable to establish the exact number of years; may have been from 5 to 32 years). After God spoke to him at Haran when he was 75 years of age in Gen. 12:1-4. After he had entered Canaan and God had spoke to him again. (Gen. 12:5-7) After he had built altars and worshipped. (Gen. 12:8, 13:4) After he had gone to Egypt due to famine in Canaan. (Gen. 12:10-20) After he had separated from Lot. (Gen. 13:5-13) After God spoke to him the fourth time (recorded) in Gen. 13:14-18. After he had defeated Chedorlaomer and his league of kings with 318 trained servants. (Gen. 14:1-16) After he paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Gen. 14:17-24)
Gen. 15:1 then says, "After these things," God spoke to Abram, for his name had not been changed to Abraham yet. At this time and place, approxi-mately nine years after Abram entered Canaan when he was 84 years old, he believed God and got saved. (Gen. 15:1-6) The Bible tells us when and where Abraham got saved.
Since Lot did not have the light and understanding that Abraham had, this means that Lot was not a saved man when he "pitched his tent toward Sodom" in Genesis 13:12. It is hard to tell exactly how much time elapsed after Lot left Abraham until Abraham was saved. Six or seven years may have elapsed. During these years Lot, being a lost man, was controlled by the course of this world (anti-God and rebellion) and the prince of the power of the air (the devil and his demons) as shown in Eph. 2:2. As a result of this control he as well as his family, became entangled with the affairs of Sodom.
When Abraham got saved, he no doubt became concerned for his nephew Lot, and made several trips down to Sodom to speak to him so that he might believe God exists and desire Him as his God. You may say, "That is not in the Bible." I know it is not, but the principle of a human instrument is a must for one to be saved. (Acts 8:31; Rom. 10:13-15; I Cor. 3:5; John 17:20) This took some time and probably several trips due to Lot being caught up in materialism, and the sins of Sodom. One must come to the end of self before he is saved. Man's nature is to fight against God. He does not want to submit to the Lord; therefore, God is good to forbear (hold off) the wrath that abides on every lost person thus giving him a space of repentance. (Rom. 2:4; John 3:36) Salvation occurs in an instant but coming to the end of self usually takes some time especially in Lot's case, because he was so entangled in the affairs of Sodom.
It was approximately 15 years from the time that Abraham got saved till God destroyed Sodom. He was about 84 years of age when saved and 99 when Sodom was destroyed. Therefore, it was sometime during these 15 years that Lot was saved. More than likely he was saved when Abraham was about 97 or about 2 years before God destroyed Sodom.
You may ask, "How did you determine that since the Bible does not say distinctly?" Again I go to a Bible principle to declare my position. I John 3:9 declares plainly, if one will rightly divide the Word of truth, that a saved person cannot practice sin naturally. If one claims to be saved yet lives in the sin of the world for a period of time without the chastisement of God, he is not saved. (Heb. 12:8) You may ask, "How long a period of time?" We cannot say exactly, but I do not believe one can go five or more years in sin and live if he is saved. In saying five years I am giving the benefit of doubt.
Any earthly father who desires to do right will not go five years without correcting a son who is wrong. The heavenly Father, who always does right, will not let His children get by without correction. First, He will speak, then rebuke, and if one will not repent He will scourge. Then if one refuses to repent, he commits a sin unto death. (I John 5:16) God takes that individual home, because he is embarrassing his Father. He will suffer loss, but be saved so as by fire (sin unto death for one saved). (I Cor. 3:15) This whole process will not take five years to be completed!!
Tradition has taught us one can be backslidden for years then get right with God. If you are one of those whose testimony is that you got saved early in life and lived like the devil for years and then got right with God, you had better check your experience closely where you say you got right with God to see if that is salvation. And if it is not salvation, you need to get honest with God and let Him show you that you have never been saved. This is a Bible principle. I had rather stand on a Bible principle than man's tradition.
Many want to excuse their years in sin by referring to Lot. You need to quit that, because Lot may not have been saved over two years before God took him out of Sodom, then destroyed the city. The moment Lot got saved, he became a new creature (II Cor. 5:17) and his righteous soul began to be vexed (annoyed; disturbed; tortured) at that instant. (II Peter 2:8) He could not have stood the pressure of this vexing had it went on for the approximate 22 years he was in Sodom. This is Bible principles applied.
Therefore, I believe that Lot was saved in Sodom about 20 years after he went there and 13 years after Abraham was saved. You may agree or disagree, but one thing you had better not do--use Lot's life for an excuse for your years in sin after you said you were saved. That is foreign to the Word of God.
"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
THE PERSUADER - April-May, 1995