Believe It or Not: All Things are Possible with God

All things are not possible with God. God is restricted, bound and confined. He cannot do everything: it is utterly impossible.

God is almighty, of course. He can restructure the reproductive organs of Sarah at the age of 90—an impossible age to have a baby—so that she can have Isaac. He can deliver Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego out of a fiery furnace unscathed, with not a hair singed. He can save Jonah in the belly of a fish. He can cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear and the lame to walk. He directs the sun as it makes its 720,000-miles-per-hour journey around the Milky Way, taking 200 million years to make one circuit (a cosmic year).

Yes, God is omnipotent. He can do all things.

Spiritually as well as physically. Jesus once stated that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. When the disciples exclaimed, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus answered: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” God can save a young rich ruler who loves riches more than Christ. He can change his heart. God can even turn stones into sons of Abraham (Luke 3:8). Daily he does the spiritually impossible: he raises the spiritually dead, he makes new creatures in Christ and he turns hearts of stone into hearts of flesh.

Yes, God can do a1l things—physically and spiritually.

No, God cannot do all things. He is unable. All things are not possible with God.

For example. God cannot deny himself (II Tim. 2:13). If we deny him, he must deny us. He cannot do otherwise. If we are faithless, he remains faithful to himself—he remains just and holy, and is bound to punish us. He cannot do otherwise.

Therefore, we should make sure we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we can be absolutely sure that we will be lost forever. For God cannot deny himself.

On the other hand, if we do put our trust in Christ, we can be sure that we will have life eternal. For God “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2) and he promised eternal life to all who believe.

Likewise, God cannot be tempted, nor does he tempt any man (James 1:13).

Thank God that all things are not possible with him, that he is unable, that he cannot. Thank God that he is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). Praise Cod that he truly said, “I, Jehovah, change not” (Mal. 3:7). T hank God that he is holy and always will be, that he will not be a sinner, that Jesus could not sin, that Cod is love and will never turn into a fiend like the Devil, and that he is completely wise and will never make a foolish mistake. Thank God that he cannot.

God can do anything he wants, but he cannot do everything. That sentence sums up this entire Believe It Or Not. God can do anything he desires and wills, for he is omnipotent. But he does not desire to do all things, nor can he desire them. And, stronger still, he cannot do them. He cannot die, lie, hate in a sinful way, act foolishly or be unfair. Otherwise, he would cease to be God. And that cannot be—thank God.

It is true that God is restricted, bound and confined. But the restriction is not imposed from without, as if there were another force outside of God, holding him down. The restriction comes from within, from himself.

The psalmist graphically expresses this Believe It Or Not when he says that the heathen gods have mouths, eyes, ears and noses, but they cannot speak, see, hear or smell. But “our God is in the heavens; he does whatsoever he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). Yes, God can do anything he pleases, but he cannot do everything.

Dr. Edwin Palmer is Executive Secretary of the Bible Translation of the New York Bible Society.