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Things God Cannot Do and Will Not Do 

Don Ruhl • Grants Pass, Oregon • September 24, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Two weeks ago I showed you from Scripture what God can do. 
    1. He can do anything within His will.
    2. This includes:
      1. Genesis 18.12–14 | Child-bearing
      2. Numbers 11.21–23 | Providence
      3. Isaiah 50.2 | Nature
      4. Mark 10.27 | Save anyone
      5. Luke 1.34–37 | Conception
      6. Romans 4.17–21 | Begetting
    3. If Genesis 1.1 true, everything the Bible says He can do is true,
    4. including forgiving the vilest sinner.
  2. Are there things He cannot do? 
    1. Yes, and
    2. there are some things He will not do.


  1. Things God Cannot Do 
    1. Lie
      1. Titus 1

        in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,  (Titus 1:2).
      2. Hebrews 6

        17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us (Heb 6.17–18).
      3. First Samuel 15

        “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent” (1Sa 15.29).

        1. We may think that God has the capability, because
        2. we just look at it mechanically.
          1. We look at the fact that He can communicate, and
          2. to us if you can communicate, you can lie.
            1. However, we leave out His holiness when we think He can.
            2. He has no desire and no need to lie.
              1. Deception has no place in Him.
              2. You probably know some people
                1. whom you would define as being incapable of lying.
                2. You mean their character forbids it,
                  1. it is just not in them.
                  2. So it is with God, only more so.
    2. God cannot justify, excuse, or rationalize sin.
      1. That is something we do.
      2. God is holy.
        1. Unholiness does not reside in Him at all.
        2. Truly, not even the slightest amount of sin resides in Him.
          1. Therefore, He cannot in anyway countenance sin.
          2. Violation of one of His simplest commands,
            1. such as eating fruit from a tree which He has forbidden,
            2. He cannot excuse, for
              1. if He excuses one sin,
              2. He will have to do so with others and
                1. where does that end?
                2. His holiness demands consistency.
    3. Does this mean that God cannot do everything?
      1. It means that He is not only a God of unimaginable power, but
      2. that He is also
        1. a God of truth,
        2. a God of holiness, and
        3. a God of justice.
    4. For example, you have the power to take life.
      1. Why don’t you take people’s lives all the time?
      2. You are not all about power.
        1. You are also about having a reason to do things and
        2. reasons for not doing other things.
    5. First John 1 shows why God cannot do these things:

      This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1Jo 1.5).

      1. It occurs to us to ask whether God can sin.
      2. It just does not enter His thinking.
        1. It is not a matter of capability, but
        2. a matter of the will.
          1. Darkness lives in us.
          2. Therefore, we come up with the question of whether He can sin.
  2. Things God Will Not Do 
    1. God has not revealed information in His word to satisfy our curiosity.
      1. Whether He will do that later in heaven, I do not know.
      2. There are things that I would like to know, but
        1. knowing those things do not make me a better person, nor
        2. do they help my salvation.
    2. God will not do things contrary to what He has said He will do or not do.
      1. If He did do things contrary to what He has said that He will do,
      2. that means He lied in the first place, and
        1. we have already seen from Scripture
        2. that God cannot lie.
          1. Hebrews 6 made the point
          2. that God will keep whatever He has promised.
    3. God will not forgive the impenitent.
      1. If He will, what is the point of the Bible?
      2. Why even bother to tell us anything in the Scriptures,
        1. if He will forgive those who do not repent?
    4. God will not change His mind at the Judgment.
      1. Most people think that God will change His mind at the Judgment.
      2. Or they believe He will forgive the impenitent once they die.
        1. You know how they believe everyone goes to heaven.
        2. In Klamath Falls, I put my name in with all the funeral homes,
          1. saying I would do funerals for people who do not have a preacher.
          2. So I got a call once for a young man who had died.
            1. When I interviewed his family,
            2. I asked why his wife was not present.
              1. They ignored my question and remained silent.
              2. Nor would anyone tell me how he died.
                1. At the funeral, family members and friends
                2. got up and spoke him into heaven,
                  1. saying that he was with Jesus now, because
                  2. the young man had been a wonderful person.
            3. The day after the funeral I saw in the newspaper
              1. that he had shot and killed his wife and then
              2. turned the gun on himself.
                1. Those were his two last acts on earth.
                2. Yet, he is in heaven with Jesus!
      3. Such people think that God does not mean what He said in the word.
        1. They obviously believe that He will change His mind at the Judgment.
        2. Every other time that He has promised judgment,
          1. He carried it out precisely as He had said that He would.
          2. Israel had to learn the hard way that God keeps His word.
            1. When the Lord sent them into captivity
            2. He showed that He will judge even His people.
              1. If He kept that judgment of captivity,
              2. He will keep His promises of the Day of Judgment.
        3. How about Noah’s generation?
          1. Second Peter 3 argues
            1. that the destruction of the world by the flood
            2. prefigures destruction of the world by fire.
          2. Concerning scoffers, Peter argued that they will say,

            4 “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2Pe 3.4–7)


  1. Some people believe that Almighty God has met His match in them. 
    1. They believe their sins to be so great that He cannot forgive them.
    2. I often wonder if it is actually that they do not want to be forgiven or
      1. if they want an excuse to stay away from the church, for
        1. they say that if they showed up,
        2. the walls would fall in.
      2. Do you have any idea of the extreme wickedness
      3. of some people who have entered the doors of the church building?
  2. Does Almighty God have what it takes to forgive you? 
    1. He forgave the people who crucified His Son.
    2. He forgave Paul who persecuted body of Christ to the point of death.
      1. Have you done things worse than those sins?
      2. If you want to connect with this awesome God,

        1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened,
        That it cannot save;
        Nor His ear heavy,
        That it cannot hear.
        2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
        And your sins have hidden His face from you,
        So that He will not hear.
        (Isa 59.1–2)

        1. It is not a question of His power or ability.
        2. It is a question of what you want.