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What God Cannot Do

I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.


God is Omnipotent

One year at a Tournament of Roses Parade a beautiful float suddenly started to sputter and finally quit. It seems that it was out of gas. Sadly, the whole parade was held up until someone could bring it a can of gas. The funny thing about this situation is that the float was owned by the Standard Oil Company. With its vast resources, its truck was out of fuel

One person who never runs out of anything is our God. His power is unlimited.

We sing songs about the power of God a lot. One I particularly like has the words:

"My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do."

The word omnipotence means all-powerful. The Bible teaches that fact in Jeremiah 32:27 which tells us:

"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?"

But that's not the only place we see this in Scripture. Luke 18:27 says:

"The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."

And there is also Luke 1:37 which rightfully boasts:

"For with God, nothing is impossible."

These are just a sampling of the many verses which teach the marvelous fact of God's omnipotence.

I. So Why the Article Title?

Now Christians believe and teach that Scripture is true. Therefore, this makes the title of this article a bit puzzling. We are here to talk about what God cannot do. And that isn't a contradiction, because nothing that we are going to discuss has anything to do with His abilities or His great power. Our God is not limited in power in any way. He can speak whole worlds and universes into existence. He is everything the Bible says about Him. But what God cannot do are things which go against logic and against His nature.

II. What God Cannot Do

1. For example, God cannot be God, and not God at the same time. That is self-contradictory. Even our Lord Jesus Christ, when He became a man, didn't at that time cease to be God. He took on another nature and was both God and man.

2. God also cannot create a being that is equal to Himself. Our God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is the uncreated creator, the unmoved mover. He cannot create a creature equal to Himself because the creator is always going to be superior to the created. And if the being God made was created, then that being has a beginning. The created creature can never be eternal in the sense that he had a point at which he didn't exist.

3. One really illogical argument that some people use to deny the existence of God is to ask the question: "Can God make a rock so big that He cannot lift it?" The answer to that is no. Once again it is self-contradictory. God is infinite in size and power. How could an all-powerful God make something bigger and more powerful than Himself? If that were even possible, then there would be something greater than God. Then God would cease to be God.

Also, in order to make something bigger than Himself he'd have to make something infinite in size. By definition a rock is finite. Some can be very large, but they aren't infinitely large.

Omnipotence is not the ability to do anything conceivable, like making square circles or round squares. It is rather the ability of God to do anything consistent with His nature and His desire.

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4. God cannot cease to exist. He is the everlasting God. He has no beginning and no end. Once again, this is His very nature or the thing that makes Him God. Psalm 90:2 says that "Before the mountains were born, or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."

5. God cannot lie. Hebrews 6:18 goes so far as to say that it is impossible for God to lie. The Lord's standard of right and wrong doesn't change, and He is consistent with the truth. There are moral absolutes because God defines them and lives up to them Himself. Being God He could do nothing else.

6. God cannot sin. He is holy (Isaiah 6:1-3). That means that He is totally set apart from sin. His eyes are too pure to look upon, evil and He cannot tolerate wrong (Habakkuk 1:13). This is His intrinsic nature. Nothing can change this.

7. God cannot learn anything new. He is omniscient. That means the Lord is all knowing. Someone who knows everything obviously can't learn anything new, because He doesn't need to do so. He knows the end from the beginning. The Lord never says: "Oops, I didn't know that! " And you'll never hear Him say: "I wonder what will happen next?" Even before He created everything, God knew what would happen. He knows everything about the past and the present and knows the future as if it were already the present.

8. God cannot flood the entire earth again. Obviously, our Lord is completely capable of covering this whole world again with no problem whatsoever. However, He made a promise that He wouldn't do it and always keeps His promises (Genesis 9:11).

9. God cannot be wrong. He created everything and knows everything about all things He created. Our Lord is good and therefore only chooses what is good and right and pure. He is perfect in all of His ways. And all the moral standards that we possess, we have because they are part of the intrinsic nature of God.

10. God cannot say yes to all of our prayers. Sometimes our prayers are selfish or go against what the Lord knows to be the ultimate good, for us and for the universe. That is why we are admonished to always ask according to His will (I John 5:14,15).

11. God cannot change. This is called, in theology God's immutability. Once again, what is referred to here is the Lord's character. Everything that makes God who He is will not change. For example, He is a God of love and mercy. He will always be loving and merciful. You can count on Him to always be consistent because that is what and who He is. (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:17,18; James 1:17).


When all is said and done, If we had another being in charge of the universe whose nature was any different than that of our God, we would all be in trouble. If He was a God who could cease to exist, who could lie, or was constantly needing to learn, for instance, He would be a Being who could not be trusted with our futures. I for one am grateful that there are things that our Lord cannot do. And He will always be the same reliable God that we know and love. That is just one more reason to praise His holy name. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. What a wonderful God that we serve!

© 2012 Jeff Shirley


Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on February 07, 2014:

I don't know why people keep using this HUB to promote their doctrines of universal reconciliation. It has nothing to do with that doctrine. However, I think that this has been beat to death in my previous responses. If you cannot see what the Bible plainly teaches, I feel sorry for you. I don't wish to discuss it any further here.

robert Wheeler Todd on February 07, 2014:

God cannot send anyone to the false place or condition of eternal torment in hell. Google Search On: “God will save all”

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 24, 2013:

I don't know what you mean by that. I don't wish Hell on anyone. However, there is no denying that the Bible speaks of Hell as a place where those who choose to stay in rebellion against God will one day go. Sin and rebellion will not enter the Kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ died so that no one need go to Hell. But he will not force them to accept Him as Savior. Hell is a choice made by those who freely reject Christ.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on June 24, 2013:

Ahh, another hell wisher.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 24, 2013:

Thanks celafoe. I appreciate the support.

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on June 24, 2013:

Good job Godtalk, it was a real good discussion until the universalists showed up with their false doctrines.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 24, 2013:

First of all, this is not the forum to be discussing this controversy. This is a Hub on what God can and cannot do. If you want to continue this discussion, make a forum question and I promise that I'll get involved.

Secondly, the book of Revelation has been dated by many reputable scholars to have been written by John on the island of Patmos in the 90's A.D.

Thirdly, you need to understand Paul's theology as a whole and not these misinterpreted verses to see what the apostle actually believed about the salvation of the world. What Paul actually talked about in various passages concerning unbelievers is that God's wrath is already being poured out against non-believers, and will continue to be into eternity. Let me give you just one of these verses:

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might... (II Thessalonians 1:6-10).

In short, you cannot use the Apostle Paul to prove universalism.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on June 24, 2013:

Look up 1Tim 4:10, Col 1:20, 1Tim2:3-4 and 2Cor 5.

What you fail to understand is that Christ's ministry and warnings of God's wrath was meant only for the Jews of Judea. not the gentiles. And Revelations makes more sense if you come to the knowledge of WHEN it was written. The early AD60s. Paul warned us that there will be many false teachers when he is gone and he wasn't kidding when he said the word "many".

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 24, 2013:

Show me your biblical evidence that what I am saying is false. Look up John 3:36 and Revelation 20, just to name a few. The Bible definitely teaches that not all will be saved. That is why the preaching of the gospel is so imperative in this and every generation.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on June 24, 2013:

You are the exponent I was talking about.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 24, 2013:

I would have to agree with you there.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on June 24, 2013:

@godtalk, The Holy Book of the living God suffers more from its exponents today than from its opponents.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 23, 2013:

Robert Wheeler Todd and SwordofManticor: Scripture teaches plainly that God has given to man free will and that not all will be saved. Jesus' death and resurrection have made it possible for all men to be saved, but they must, by faith accept that salvation.

However, God is still sovereign. It is His choice to allow us to choose Him rather than making us robots that are programmed and unable to do anything else.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on June 23, 2013:

@Robert, Agreed!!!

Robert Wheeler Todd on June 22, 2013:

One more that was missed...... God cannot fail to save all mankind..... in His way and time. K7VHQ

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on December 16, 2012:

Thanks for the support. God bless!

charlie from From Kingdom of God living on Planet earth in between the oceans on December 16, 2012:

UNBELIEVABLE - a real honest scriptural post on hub pages

good work

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on September 16, 2012:

If you want to take it to its fullest extent, it is not God's will that any of us should sin in the first place, although if you look at the world, clearly we do. The Bible preaches both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. Although we don't fully understand how these two fit together, they are both taught in the Bible.

The Bible also teaches that there will be people who do not ultimately come to God through faith and that they will end up in Hell. Jesus talked about Hell, and the book of Revelation talks about those whose names were not written in the book of life being cast into the Lake of Fire. (20:11-15). Hell is for Satan and his angels, and for all those who use their free will to reject God's plan of salvation.

God sovereignly allows for free will, and He uses our will to work His plans. He is never held hostage by us or anything else. A person's rejection of God doesn't make Him less sovereign. In the end God's Kingdom will rule over all, including those who refuse to accept that fact.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on September 15, 2012:

We are not sinners by nature, we are the result of Adams disobedience (1Cor 15:22). In 1Tim 2:3-4, God says it is His will and desire to save us all, but according to you, He is dependent on our FW to save us. All He can do is hope to save some of us. He requires our permission to save us. Our FW is sovereign over our Father's will. Like I said before. He wants to save us all, but He can't. God says in Philippians 2:13 that He will us to do His pleasure, but you are telling me that there is NOTHING that works in you both to will and to do because you have a free will that is not caused by anything, including God.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on September 15, 2012:

The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for all the world, but only those who come to Him by faith will be saved (John 3:16,36; Romans 10:9,10; Ephesians 2:8,9). This implies the free will to choose the gift of eternal life. By definition, sin is a choice to disobey the will of God. There is no so-called anything about free will. Free will is a result of being created in the image of God. He has given to us the free will to choose to obey, or disobey Him. All of us are sinners by nature and by choice. Without Christ, this choice has lead us all to be eternally separated from God. But thank the Lord, He chose to save us, despite our sin.

SwordofManticorE from Burlington on September 15, 2012:

I would like to add another thing that God cannot do according to the church. He cannot save all of mankind because of our so called free will.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 19, 2012:

Yes, our God is utterly consistent with His own nature. We can rely upon Him. Thanks for reading.

Frank Slovenec from San Francisco, CA on June 19, 2012:

I like to dwell on what He is and does, but this is a good reminder that God cannot contradict therefore He is consistent and very dependable...thank you

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 18, 2012:

I appreciate your input MsDora. Take care and God bless.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 18, 2012:

GopdTalk, thanks for this discussion. These are the topics I'd rather read and listen to, than try to answer. Good job!

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 18, 2012:

Thanks Dave, for your continued support by reading and commenting on the articles I write. And I pray the Lord's blessing on your life.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on June 18, 2012:

I have always enjoyed that question about the rock.

My answer has always been, that God can do anything even make a rock so heavy he cound not lift it, BUT, why would God want to do such a thing.

God did though create a "Foundation Rock" that no one can destroy, or move or remove in the person of Christ Jesus.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 17, 2012:

We need all of the believers on Hub Pages that we can get. You'll find that there are some atheists on here that try to mock anyone with any religious belief at all. Don't let them stop you. The truth always wins out in the end. God bless you.

SiameseRobot from Boise, ID on June 17, 2012:

Great article. Keep up the good work. I'm new to Hub Pages and looking into writing some religious articles myself. This was a good example. Thanks.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 16, 2012:

Thanks for the encourangement brother. God bless you.

Reginald Boswell from Huntsville, Alabama on June 16, 2012:

Great points very interesting especially point two. Thus God said let us make man in our image and in our likeness, God also said prepare me a body . . . this one caught my attention very interesting keep hubbing brother.

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 16, 2012:

Thanks mikoas!

mikoas from Nigeria on June 16, 2012:

this is great. expecting more from you

Jeff Shirley (author) from Hesperia, Michigan on June 16, 2012:

Thank you North Wind and AtHomeHeather for taking the time to read. And I am glad that the Lord used it to bring glory to Himself. God bless!

Heather from PA on June 16, 2012:

I am also grateful for our God!I really loved this article you wrote; it is very well written and well thought out! Voting up!!

North Wind from The World (for now) on June 16, 2012:

Loved this piece. I agree with you completely and I love how you explained the question concerning God and the rock. He is eternal and all -knowing and all glory goes to Him as He so deserves.

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