How Can Our Default Destination Be Hell If We Are One of the Elect?

I don't deal with election in the Heaven book, though I do believe in election, since the Bible teaches it. Election does not change the default destination issue. All are conceived and born in sin; that is the sense in which our default destination is hell. Without God's intervention that's where we'll go. That's the point, and biblically it's not debatable.

Election only works as an after-argument when someone HAS come to Christ, because until then neither he nor any human being can know he is elect. If a man dies in rebellion against Christ then his default destination has been hell all along. If he comes to Christ then UNTIL that point he remains hell-bound, meaning his default destination (as an unrepentant sinner) is hell. At regeneration, the default destination is no longer in effect because he has been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God's Son—that is, he has a new destination, Heaven.

Until conversion, election cannot be seen on the human plane, only the divine. What God knows and sees and what we do are very different. On the matter of free will, I deal with it at length in If God Is Good and hand in Hand. God has certainly given us real and meaningful choice, but that doesn't mean we are capable of self-reform to make ourselves acceptable in His sight. We are not, and desperately need the work of His Holy Spirit within.  

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries