“THREE THINGS GOD CANNOT DO”
“For with God nothing shall
Continuing the commemoration of his 65th year of preaching the Gospel, the F.D. editor is once again featuring one of his most popular and widely used evangelistic sermons that God has richly blessed across seven decades.
Intro: Without question, the Scriptures teach that God can do anything except sin, a fact that His holy nature prevents. The inspired Scriptures clearly proclaim that God is capable of doing whatever He desires, as He alone possesses all authority and power. In Gen. 18:14, in an O. T. theophany, God, appearing in the form of an angel, assured Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child in their old age, making the statement, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
In Jer. 32:17, Jeremiah the prophet believed the prophecy of God’s Word that Judah would be restored to the land after 70 years captivity when he declared that “there is nothing too hard for thee.” God positively responded to Jeremiah’s faith by stating in Jer. 32:27: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
In Luke 1:37, when the angel appeared to the Virgin Mary and informed her that, contrary to all human possibilities, she would indeed bear the Son of God in her womb, the angel stated: “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” In Matt. 19, when Christ declared that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and they then asked the question, “who then can be saved?” Christ stated: “With men, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
However, without tricking anyone, there are THREE things that God cannot do.
God Cannot Lie
Using the mouth of a donkey, the words of God speak for themselves in Numbers 23:19: “God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he not said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
Now, in contrast to God, Satan does lie. In fact, the first thing Satan did in the Garden of Eden when he appeared as a lovely serpent was to tell a lie. In Gen. 2:16-17, God expressly stated that “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
The Scripture states in Gen. 3:1 that “the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field” and “he said [deceitfully] unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan’s words were a subtle half-lie, designed to create doubt about what God really said. According to I Tim. 2:14, Eve accepted that deception and became a transgressor of God’s Word.
In John 8:44, Christ portrayed the devil as the individual who “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” According to Christ, when Satan “speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Satan is the master liar who, someday, at the Rapture of the saints, via his anti-christ empowerment, will deceive the entire human race into accepting his massive lie about the sudden disappearance of God’s saints from the earth.
II Thess.2:9-11 prophetically declares that when the Rapture occurs and God’s saints are suddenly removed from this world, that the earth’s entire population will be deceived by Satan’s chief henchman, the anti-Christ, into accepting his lie about this dramatic and sudden removal. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
In stark contrast to Satan’s deceptions, falsehoods, lies, untruths and distorted fabrications, the triune God is a complete truth teller! Writing about God the Father, Deut. 32:4 states: “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” The Psalmist reiterated this fact in Ps. 117:2 when he wrote that “the truth of the Lord endureth forever.” It was declared of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in John 1:14, that He was “full of grace and truth.”Also in in John 14:6 Christ plainly stated that “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Speaking prophetically about God the Holy Spirit in John 16:13 Christ stated: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth.”
Under Satan’s directives, and/or via their own depraved sinful natures, human beings are prone toward deceptions and lies. In II Samuel chapter one, in his supposed recounting of Saul’s death, an Amalekite lied to David about the circumstances of Saul’s death, alleging that he, in an act of mercy, killed Saul. In his remarks about this Amalekite’s deception, Chas Ryrie states that “The Amalekite’s story is at variance with I Sam. 31:3-6 and is clearly a fabrication. He apparently sought recognition or reward for claiming to have killed Saul.”
Another instance in Scripture where individuals were caught lying occurred in Acts. 5, when Annanias and Sapphira sold some possessions or property and then they both lied about the amount they had received and were donating to the apparent fund for needy saints. Acts 5:2 states that they “kept back” a part. It is interesting to note that the Greek word for “kept back” means “to embezzle.” As the readers of Acts chapter five know, in short order, God potently dealt with this deception and hypocrisy!
How refreshing to know that between Satan’s deceptions and man’s distorted fabrications, we have a God who CANNOT lie, a God of complete truth and holy verification, whose inspired word is wholly trustworthy and is thus called “the word of truth” in II Tim. 2:15. Christ himself placed complete confidence in this “word of truth,” in John 17:17 when he stated: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
God Cannot Lose Any of His Elect
You don’t ever have to be ashamed of using a term that God Himself uses in His own word! I Pet. 1:2 states that the Christians who were scattered throughout the Roman regions mentioned therein were “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” Taking this verse at face value, this statement simply means that God, in advance, having complete and full knowledge of all human actions knows who will be saved and who will not be converted.
But how can I know that I am included in the “elect?” Just place yourself in the guilty sinner class, the class of humanity that is willing to admit that you are a guilty sinner rightly justly bound for a devil’s hell and a Christ-less eternity as the Scripture states in Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23a, Ezekiel 18:4 and Heb. 9:27: “ “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “For the wages of sin is death.” “the soul that sinneth it shall surely die.” “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Accept the fact that Jesus Christ is your only possible Saviour from sin—John 14:6, Acts 4:12; that He is the only one who can provide forgiveness of sin—Eph. 1:7 and give the assurance of eternal life—John 3:16. Honestly repent—a change of mind toward God and sin—Luke 13:3, and place your faith solely in Christ for salvation as one of the “whosoever” class of Rom. 10:13: When you sincerely do the above, you become part of the “whosoever” elect class of Rom. 10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”
Congratulations! You are NOW one of the forever “elect,” according to the foreknowledge of God as I Pet. 1:2 affirmatively states! Now, this writer recognizes that genuine salvation is a divine act of God, not of man as Eph. 2:8-9 plainly states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Dr. H. A. Ironside, the famed expositional Bible Teacher, explained it simply like this: There is a door, called the door of salvation: On one side above the door stands the words, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” When you enter that door and look back, on the other side you read the words, “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.”
God has never lost any of His elect, and He will NEVER lose any of His precious saints to Satan or to Hell. Judas Iscariot was NEVER one of God’s elect. While he was outwardly chosen as one of Christ’s 12 disciples, he was a forgerer and a hypocrite from the beginning—Matt. 10:1-4. For nearly 3½ years, he played the “role” of a genuine disciple and none of the chosen 11 Apostles ever suspected that Judas was an imitation. But Christ knew from the beginning. In John 6:70, Christ said to the disciples: “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” In Mark 14:21, Christ declared that it would have been good for Judas had he never been born, while Acts 1:25 states that when Judas committed suicide, he went “to his own place” [Hell].”
II Peter 3:9 makes it plain that it is God’s desire that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Individuals die and go to an eternal Hell, NOT because they have been eternally consigned there beforehand by God, but by virtue of their own voluntary choice.
To those who rejected Christ, he pointedly stated in John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” The voluntary rejection of Christ sends sinners to an eternal hell, NOT the absolutive decree of a sovereign God. This writer vividly recalls the humorous words of the famed Fundamentalist evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr. who said: “If you get someone converted who is not one of the elect, God will forgive you!"
There are several Biblical reasons why God cannot lose any of His elect. The doctrinal truth based on this Scriptural assertion is called “Eternal Security.” There are at least seven solid reasons for the believer’s eternal security: The believer possesses an eternal salvation which can NEVER be forfeited or lost because of (1) Christ’s PROMISES—Heb. 13:5, John 10:28-29. Then, how about the promises that God makes via the Apostle John in John 3:16 and I John 5:11-13. (2) Christ’s PROPITIATION—I John 2:2, Rom. 3:24-25; (3) Christ’s PURCHASE—Acts 20:28, a purchase price that requires no second payment price—Heb. 1:1-3, Heb. 10:10-12; (4) Christ’s PRIESTHOOD—Heb. 7:24-25, an eternal priesthood that includes intercession for needy saints; (5) Christ’s POSITION—Eph. 1:20-22; verses that declare his headship above ALL principalities and powers, both evil and good; (6) Christ’s PREPARATIONS—In John 14:1-3, Christ stated that He was going back to Heaven to prepare a place for His saints. Christ is NOT going to demolish to rubble, the building construction in which He has been engaged for the past 2,000 years; (7) Christ’s PURPOSES—I Cor. 15:51-54 delineates the future transformation of believer’s bodies into incorruptible and immortal species. In Phi. 3:230-21, the Apostle Paul reiterates this great truth concerning the guaranteed change of believers’ bodies when death is finally swallowed up.
There are also the BLESSINGS of Eternal Security, the innumerable positive results of Christ’s continued presence with the believer under ALL circumstances. (1) Christ is with us in PRESSURE, regardless of the source: whether it be the flesh—Rom. 7:19, the family—Job. 2:9-10, our foes—Ezra 4:4-5, our fears—II Tim. 1:7, the flock—Acts 20:30 or pressures from former friends—II Tim. 4:10. (2) Christ is with us in PAIN—II Cor. 12:7-9 as the Apostle Paul vividly cites in that passage. (3 Christ is with us in PERSECUTION—John 16:33, Phil. 1:29. (4) Christ is with us in POVERTY—II Cor. 8:1-3, Phil. 4:11-12. (5) Christ is with us in PLENTY—Heb. 13:15-16; (6) Christ is with us in PURGING—II Tim. 3:16-17, Heb. 12:5-7. (7) Christ will also be with us in PARADISE—II Cor. 5:1.
God Cannot Let Any of His Children Sin and Get Away with it
While God will NEVER lose any of His elect either by His own action or via their sinful activity, God has NEVER permitted His genuine children to sin and get away with it. Regardless of its enactor, whether sinner or saint, sin carries with it a heavy price on its head. The Scripture is replete with myriad example of believers in both the O. T. and N.T. who mistakenly thought they could violate God’s precepts and not face the consequences.
It didn’t take the first human couple, Adam and Eve, very long to recognize that sin, via disobedience to God’s laws, has its negative consequences! In Gen. 3, despite God’s covering, they were banished from the Garden for their violation of God’s command. Twice, in Genesis, chapters 12 & 20, Abraham told a “half-truth”[a “half-truth” is a “whole lie.”] about his wife Sarah and suffered the consequences!
In Gen. chapter 26, Isaac repeated the same sinful cover-up as His father Abraham had done on two occasions. While despite his conspiracy, God continued to bless him, Isaac faced a continuing conflict with Abimelech’s posterity in the digging of wells. In Gen. 34, when Jacob wandered out of God’s directive will, he faced the moral stench that his sons caused, due to his refusal to go straight back to Bethel.
While in Joshua 7, Achan’s status as a counterfeit/genuine saint is debatable, he is another prime example of what occurs when professing saints try to cheat on God. In Leviticus 20, Nadab and Abihu serve as classic examples of the results of the sin of disobedience. When they “offered strange fire” in their sacrifices, they instantly “died before the Lord.” And while David is described in Scripture as “a man after God’s own heart,” his sin in killing Uriah and then committing adultery with Bathsheba was not treated lightly in Scripture. The multiple negative sad tragedies that followed in his own family as a consequence of his moral failure there requires a separate treatment elsewhere.
Peter’s flagrant triple denial of Christ in Luke 22, and the triple crowing of that bird, carries with it one of the saddest requiems ever written when the Scripture simply states that “Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” Bitter memories caused by sinful failures can sometimes be some of the most pungent punishments any individual can face.
While it has already been previously mentioned, the tragic deaths of Annanias and Sapphira are part of the Biblical record that cannot and should not be erased. I John 5:16 records a powerful verse concerning the sins of believers and their potential negative effects: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death,, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death. I do not say that he should pray for it.” The Apostle John does NOT specify what sin/sins could cause a genuine believer to forfeit his life here on earth, but it is a potent reminder that God doesn’t let his children sin and get away it.
Finally, we could go to the book of Revelation, and the messages to the seven churches in Revelation. While the first church mentioned, the church of Ephesus, is commended for its faithfulness, God straightforwardly states that this church had “left” [not lost!] its “first love.” God declared that unless this church genuinely repented, he would remove its candlestick from existence.
The last church in those two chapters, the church of Laodicea, mentioned in Rev. 3:14-22 is severely chastised for its middle of the road lukewarm spiritual condition. God strongly rebuked and chastened this church in Rev. 3:19 and urgently pleaded with that congregation to “be zealous” and “repent.”
Yes, while God can obviously do anything He chooses—there are also three things that He CANNOT conscientiously DO! As believers, let us learn these Biblical lessons and profit thereby. D.J.