Monday, February 2, 2015

Things God Cannot Do (Can God Do Anything?)

            The Bible says all things are possible with God (Cf. Genesis 18: 14a; Numbers 11: 23a; Jeremiah 32: 17; Matthew 19: 26). So let us examine if God can do just about anything or are there deeds that God would not perform. If so, why would God not perform those deeds?

God Would Never Contradict HIS Attributes

            The Bible reveals God’s attributes. God is perfect; HE lacks nothing. God is eternal, immutable, simple, infinite, omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), good, just, loving, merciful and gracious.

            God’s deeds will always be consistent with HIS attributes. God cannot violate any of HIS attributes through any of HIS deeds.

            Based on this premise, here are a few deeds that God would not perform:

            (1) God cannot sin or be evil (Cf. 1 John 3: 9). HE cannot perform any evil deeds (Cf. Habakkuk 1: 13). For instance, God cannot lie or deceive (Cf. Numbers 23: 19; 1 Samuel 15: 29; Titus 1: 2; Hebrews 6: 18).

            Some argue that God’s killing in the Old Testament reveals HIS evil nature because only evil minds kill. This is not true.

            God as the creator of life can remove life for just and valid reasons i.e. when people are wicked and unrepentant. (For more information on this theme, you can refer to my previous blog here

            (2) Man cannot force God into doing anything. It is God who is sovereign, not man. Man is subordinate to God. God is not subordinate to man. So God will not perform deeds in response to man’s desire or request (Cf. Matthew 6: 10). If it seems as though God has yielded to man, then it’s due to God’s will and not man’s will.

            (3) God deeds cannot be in response to man’s deeds. God is omniscient (HE has foreknowledge that includes middle knowledge); HE knows man's actions at any given point in time. Hence HIS deeds cannot be based as a response to man’s deeds.

            So God did not think of introducing Christ to the world after Adam and Eve sinned against HIM. The perfect sacrifice of Christ was planned before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1: 20).

            (4) God cannot be tired, since God is perfect and omnipotent (Isaiah 40: 28). Tiredness is lack of energy. But a perfect being cannot lack anything.

            (5) God cannot be unholy, since God is perfect and immutable (Isaiah 6: 3).

            (6) God cannot be partial, since HE is just (Acts 10: 34-35)

            (7) God cannot stop loving us, since God is love (Jeremiah 31: 3)   

God Would Never Contradict HIS Word

            The Bible contains God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation (without the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical books). Since God cannot lie, the Bible speaks the truth. (Liberal and postmodern Christians say that the Bible is corrupt in its transmission. This is undermining God – that God was unable to sustain the truthfulness of the Bible, which disputes God’s omnipotence or that God is intentionally corrupting man by removing HIS only objective revelation (written word) from man, which implies that God is evil.)

            Based on the premise that God would never contradict HIS Word, here are a few deeds that God would not perform:

            (8) God will not save everyone. The Bible states that belief in Christ is mandatory for salvation, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life…” (John 6: 40, NASB). If belief in Christ is mandatory for eternal life (salvation), then God will not save those who do not believe in Christ. (I do not take joy in referring to hell and its inhabitants, but I affirm this with a heavy heart, which is totally dependent on the Bible and common sense.)

            (9) God will not heal everyone. We extrapolate this information from the Bible.

            The Lord Jesus did not heal all those who were sick at the pool of Bethesda although there were many sick people there (John 5: 3). Jesus chose to heal only one invalid man from the many who were sick, and quickly left Bethesda (John 5: 13b). In fact, the man who was healed did not request healing for he did not know Jesus (Cf. John 5: 13a).

            Another instance is this; the Lord’s disciples, Peter and John, healed a lame man (Acts 3: 1-9), who was lame from birth. This lame man had been begging at the temple gate every day. Although he had not asked for healing, Peter and John healed him.

            If this lame man was there at the temple gate every day, would not have Jesus seen him during HIS ministry on earth? A reasonable inference would be an astounding yes. It’s greatly plausible that Jesus having known his condition chose to walk past him during HIS visits to the temple without healing this man. 

            Jesus did not heal everyone in HIS hometown either (Mark 6:5). HE merely laid HIS hands on a few sick people and healed them.

            Therefore, multiple instances in the Bible attest to the fact that God does not heal everyone. 

            Although God would not heal everyone, all those who seek God during their times of trials and tribulation would receive HIS grace in abundance. This is explicitly said in the Bible when God refused to heal / deliver Paul from his tribulation (2 Corinthians 12: 9).

            (10) God will not destroy evil until the Lord Jesus returns again in all HIS glory. God will never force Satan to be good, hence evil will reign.

            The Bible says that Satan and evil are inevitable realities in this world. Moreover, the Bible categorically asserts the eternal torment of Satan and his entourage (Revelation 20: 10).  God knows that Satan, out of HIS own freewill, would never become good, hence God will not force Satan to be good. This implies that evil will reign until God binds Satan to HIS eternal destiny.

            Christians would not be immune to evil, we are susceptible to evil. But during anxious moments, instead of questioning God and reeling under the weight of our agony, we could pray to God that HIS peace would guard us in Christ Jesus (Cf. Philippians 4: 6-7).

            (11) God can’t break a promise because God has promised us that HE would not break HIS covenants (Psalm 89: 34).

            (12) Similarly, God can’t abandon us (Deuteronomy 31: 6).


            To conclude, God’s actions are predicated on HIS being (HIS attributes) and HIS revelation (The Bible). Therefore we reiterate that God cannot do the following based on HIS attributes and revelation: 

            (1) God cannot sin or be evil.

            (2) God cannot be forced into doing anything.

            (3) God will not do anything based on man’s actions.

            (4) God cannot be tired.

            (5) God cannot be unholy.

            (6) God cannot be partial.

            (7) God cannot stop loving us.

            (8) God will not save everyone.

            (9) God will not heal everyone.

            (10) God will not destroy evil until the Lord Jesus’ second coming.

            (11) God cannot break a promise.

            (12) God cannot abandon us.

            The list is far from being complete, but we are now aware that there are things that God can’t do. This does not undermine God in any manner. God as a maximally great being will never contradict HIMSELF.

            I pray that these truths would spiritually enrich our lives. May the blessings of the triune God be upon you and your family. May HIS will be done in our lives. Amen.


Here are additional 20 things that God cannot do. Study the Bible and answer as to why God cannot do these things:

1. God cannot stop HIS existence.

2. HE cannot give Godhood to man or angel.

3. God cannot be surprised.

4. God cannot learn anything new.

5. God cannot be wrong.

6. God can never create a rock so heavy that HE cannot lift.

7. God cannot despise a broken heart.

8. God cannot sleep.

9. God cannot forget us.

10. God cannot be imperfect.

11. God cannot be a subordinate to anyone.

12. God cannot change.

13. God cannot be destroyed.

14. God cannot be selfish.

15. God cannot be tempted.

16. God cannot lust.

17. God cannot not forgive sins upon repentance.

18. God cannot be unjust.

19. God cannot deny Christ’s sacrifice.

20. God will not violate HIS own rational nature.          

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