Even though the scripture tells us that with God, ALL things are possible, we also know that some things are NOT possible with God.

Someone once asked the question: "Is there anything that God cannot do?"
While waiting for an answer, he further stated: "Can He make a rock so big that even He cannot lift it?"
Have you ever stopped to consider that there might be some things that God cannot do?
Yes, there are some things God cannot do.
Paul told Timothy that God "cannot deny himself." 2 Timothy 2:13.
The Hebrew writer states, in Hebrews 6:17,18, concerning the promises of God, "That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement."
So, God cannot deny Himself, neither can He lie, because both of these actions would be contrary to His nature or character.
But, in His word, there are revealed other things which God cannot do.
We know that Jesus made the statement, in Matthew 19:26, "With God all things are possible."
In this place, Jesus was talking about the impossibilities of man in the physical realm as opposed to the possibilities of God.
But in the spiritual realm, there are some things that God cannot do because such things would violate His character or nature as God.
Man, in his own way of thinking and hoping, seems to think that there is nothing impossible with God;
So God can save anyone; therefore man will live as he pleases.
No matter how the man lives, he hopes that God being able, and being the merciful God that He is, will save him in the end.
But there are things revealed in the scriptures of which we ought to pay heed:

From the beginning of man's existence, God has made promises to him.
When man sinned in Eden, and was cast out, a Savior and Reconciler was promised to him (Genesis 3:15).
And that promise was kept (Acts 13:23; Galatians 4:4,5).
God made many promises to Abraham and to Sarah, and He did what He promised.
In Hebrews 11:11, the writer speaks of Sarah and says: "She counted Him faithful who promised."
And of Abraham we read in Romans 4:21, "Being fully assured that what he had promised, he was able to perform."
The Old Testament writings are full of promises of God; and He did what He said He would.
The conclusion is stated in Hebrews 10:23, "For he is faithful that promised.“
So God has a perfect tract record of keeping promises He has made to man.
Is there any reason to doubt that God will not keep any future promises He has made to us?
Peter said concerning the promises of God, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
We need the kind of faith Paul expressed, concerning the promises of God in Acts 27:25, "I believe God, that it shall be even so as it hath been spoken.“
No, God cannot (and will not) renounce His promises.
But we need to realize that most (if not all) of God's promises are CONDITIONAL in nature.
IF we confess Christ, He will confess us before His Father (Matthew 10:32).
IF we deny Him, He will deny us (Matthew 10:33).
The promise of the joys of heaven are conditional.
We have the choice to make.
Matthew 25:46, "These shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life."

No one contends that God's hearing is poor, but rather, He will not "heed" the prayer of the sinner. Isaiah 59:1,2.
It is amazing that people, in spite of all God has said in His word, think that God will hear their prayers no matter what they do or how they live.
But such need to realize that when one rebels against God, God will not hear him (Proverbs 1:24-28; 28:9).
So, if we refuse to hear God, refuse to heed His teaching, or refuse to obey Him; He will not hear us.
Some of the conditions under which God will hear are implied in John 9:31.
Two things are necessary: worship God and do His will.
This is why we read in James 5:16, "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much in its working."
We never read: "The prayers of the wicked, availeth much."
And again in 1 John 3:22, "Whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."
So, unless we are willing to hear God's instructions, and mold our lives by them, we make it impossible for Him to hear and answer our prayers.

As the prophet has said, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save." (Isaiah 59:1).
It is not a "weakness" on God's part that prevents some from being saved:
It is their guilt of sins that makes it impossible for God to save them.
Man's salvation is predicated upon faith (Hebrews 11;6).
God sent His Son into the world to die for all men, (Hebrews 2:9), but does this mean that all will be saved?
No, because there are conditions that are to be met by men; faith being just one condition (John 3:16).
Note, that "Whosoever believeth on Him" might (or should) be saved.
There is not salvation promised for those who do not believe.
In fact, Jesus said, "Except ye believe that I am He ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24).
We are told that we are "justified by faith" (Romans 5:1)
"Saved by grace through faith", (Ephesians 2:8);
And that we "live by faith", (Romans 1:17).
So, just as it is impossible for us to be saved without faith (Hebrews 11:6), it is also impossible for God to save us without faith.
When the message of salvation, the gospel of Christ, is preached, hearers are to believe it. (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:17).
Paul explained why he was so diligent in proclaiming the gospel. Romans 1:16,17.
The gospel has no power to save unbelievers.
When people reject the gospel message, sent from God, they thereby make it impossible for God to save them.

We read in John 12:42,43, of those who "believed on him" but refused to confess Jesus because they loved the glory and praise of men more than the glory of God.
So, their faith was a "dead faith" that could not save them.
We are told that faith apart from works is dead (James 2:14-26).
Faith must produce obedience for it to make us acceptable to God (James 2:21- 23).
Note this conclusion: "Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:24.
Look at the great heroes and heroines of faith as recorded in Hebrews 11:4-30.
In each case, faith obeyed God.
In every case we have noted, faith led people to obey God before the promised blessing was received.
And so it is today, "He is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9).
The apostle Peter wrote, "Ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth..." (1 Peter 1:22).
Paul echoed the same thing in Romans 6:16-18.
Until faith leads us to do what God commands, we remain lost.
In the great commission, Jesus promised: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16).
But the very same Lord asks: "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46.
Yes, by refusing to do what God commands us, we make it impossible for Him to save us (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

God wants to save us, for He "would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4).
But there are some things that God cannot do: He cannot lie, He cannot deny Himself.
So, don't expect God to go back on His word by saving you in your unbelief or disobedience.
There are some things that you MUST DO or you will find there are things God cannot do for you.

By Carey Scott from an outline by Jim Sasser

Return to the Sermon Outlines page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /