Through a conversation I was having with my Old Testament professor this last week I came up with an interesting question, “Is Saul in heaven?” I had never thought of that before. I had always seen him as a man who had rejected God and relied on himself, and for that God had rejected him. Is that the case though?
We know very clearly that God had at one time given Saul the Holy Spirit. We can read that in 1 Samuel 10 he had received the Spirit of God and that it had rushed upon him. Saul prophesied along with the other prophets. People were astonished to see that he was doing the same thing. This is the exact same Spirit that Christians receive when accepting God.
What does that mean for Saul? Now most (I assume) Protestant Christians believe that once you are saved you are always saved. Unless you are a hyper-Arminianist, or adhere to denomination that I don’t know much about and believe that you can lose your salvation. In Ephesians 14 we can read that the Holy Spirit is a down payment for our inheritance. That upon receiving the Holy Spirit we are saved even if we reject God afterwards.
It’s hard to say that we will still receive salvation even after rejecting God, but one can hope. Saul did reject God and he did what was right in his own eyes. God removed his Spirit from Saul and even sent an ‘evil spirit’. It’s assumed that God gave Saul every opportunity to turn back to him. Does that mean he wasn’t saved? I don’t think so. I think there is a very good possibility that Saul is in heaven, worshiping God.
A God that gives his Son to die for us is the very same God that would possibly redeem a man like Saul