Twelve Things God Cannot Do

Twelve Things God Cannot Do

by Lloyd W. Cary

Twelve Things God Cannot Do

Your Bible says that “with God, all things are possible.” And yet, there are some things God cannot do. Do you know what they are… and how they affect you?

by Lloyd W. Cary

“Just believe, and you shall be saved,” the blustering, huffing, puffing, perspiring preacher bawled at his audience. “With God, all things are possible,” he urged as he launched into a sermon alleging that God’s laws were “done away”—“nailed to the cross,” and that “God is love,” and that we all abide in “eternal security” as long as we “just love one another.” Sound familiar?

Many tend to quote these and other Bible verses out of context, or “mix and match” them in order to get a point across, all the while neglecting other relevant passages bearing on the same subject. For example, many quote “With God all things are possible” (Matthew19:26) while ignoring the many important things God cannot do. Theoretically speaking, God, for example, cannot play checkers on the red squares and still abide by the present rules of checkers. He cannot freeze with fire nor burn with ice while abiding with the present physical laws of physics. But such playing with semantics does not negate the fact that there are certain very significant things God cannot do concerning us, His creation.


People ask, “Is God dependable?” “Can we rely on His Word, the Bible?” There is nothing we could do that would prevent God from being a rueful, cosmic monster… if He chose to be so. If He took sadistic glee in tormenting His creation with whips and chains and ever—burning hell-fire for all eternity, we could not prevent Him. Yet He has chosen to operate within the laws and rules He Himself set up. In His infinite wisdom He has chosen to be a God of compassion and mercy and love… a God working out a plan of salvation in which He is reproducing Himself after His own kind through mankind. In doing so, He has willed Himself —“locked Himself in,” so to speak—to consistently adhere to certain laws, principles, attitudes, and behaviors. We would do well to observe and emulate them. This is how God’s mind works, and we are to have, or put on, the very mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). So, for our own benefit let us examine a few of the many restrictions God has imposed upon Himself….

1. God cannot lie.

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18). [Other verses supporting this truth are Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Romans 3:4; Tutus 1:2; 1 John 1:10; and 1 John 5:10.] Aren’t you glad God is not lying to us about what He has done, is doing and soon will do concerning His Plan and His Word? Praise God!

2. God cannot change.

“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). [To verify, compare Psalm 90:2,4; Psalm 102:27; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17; and Revelation 1:8.] God is absolutely committed and resolute about His plan for man. Aren’t you grateful that God does not change your world randomly or change His mind about your calling and salvation?

3. God cannot break a promise.

My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips” (Psalm 89:34). [Also see: Leviticus 26:44; Jeremiah 14:21; and Jeremiah 33:20–22.] Aren’t you grateful God has kept His promises in the past and will keep His promises concerning you, His saints, and His plan of salvation for all in the future?

4. God’s intent and power cannot be stopped.

“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35). [See also Job 34:39; Job 42:2; Proverbs 21:30; Isaiah 43:13; Acts 5:39; and 1 Corinthians 10:22.] Aren’t you awed God cannot be thwarted, deceived, or overthrown?

5. God’s Word cannot be broken.

“… the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) [Compare Psalm 12:6–7, 119:89; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; and Peter 1:25.] Aren’t you grateful God’s Word is pure and sure forever, and that you can trust it with your eternal life?

6. God’s Law cannot be annulled.

“…all His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness” (Psalm 111:7–8). [Match Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:17–18; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33; Romans 3:31; and Hebrews 13:8.] Aren’t you relieved that God’s physical as well as His spiritual laws cannot be altered or done away?

7. God cannot stand sin.

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1–2). [See Proverbs 15:29; Jeremiah 5:25; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Ezekiel 39:23–24; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; Galatians 6:7–8; and 1 John 3:4.] Aren’t you thankful that Jesus Christ came and paid your eternal death penalty for you, in your stead?

8. God cannot despise a broken and contrite heart.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17). [Cross reference Psalm 102:17; Psalm 138:6; Luke 15:10; and Romans 12:1] Aren’t you happy that, no matter what you have done, you can return to God through repentance and His saving grace?

9. God cannot be pleased without faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). [See also Numbers 14:11; John 3:18 John 8:24; Hebrews 3:12, 18–19; Hebrews 11:1; and Revelation 21:12.] Aren’t you humbled that you can be counted worthy and be added to God’s faith “hall of fame” through Jesus Christ?

10. God’s church cannot be destroyed.

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). [Compare Psalm 125:22; Matthew 7:25; Acts 5:39; and Romans 8:33–38.] Aren’t you at peace that the Guardian of this universe is protecting you and yours as long as you abide in Him?

11. God cannot be worshipped too much for Who and What He is.

“…and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). [Compare Psalm 30:12; Psalm 41:13; Psalm 99:3,9; Psalm 103; 1 Timothy 1:17; and Hebrews 13:15.] Aren’t you awed that we have such a perfect, Almighty, and loving God that is worthy of such praise?

12. And finally, God cannot stop loving you.

“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (also see Jeremiah 31:3; Deuteronomy 7:7–9; Psalm 103:17; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3–6; and 1 John 4:19.) Aren’t you thankful that God loves you enough to give His only-begotten Son for you?

Let us be grateful and praise God for Who He is and What He is… a God of loving care, compassion, and forgiveness. Aren’t you glad our God has limited Himself in these ways? He has set us the example and opened the way before us to follow in His steps. It is because God cannot do these things that we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

To learn more about God and what your part can be in His plan for man, be sure to request our free booklets, Who, What Is God?, Is Jesus Really God? and Things To Do While Waiting For Jesus to Return. You’ll be amazed! Ω