I just came across an old story in a folder in my file cabinet. In 1989, a team of Rehrersburg Teen Challenge Choir graduates ministered on campus at Cambridge University in England. Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. It grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute.
Surrounded by skeptics and agnostics, the TC Rehrersburg choir ministered enthusiastically and their enthusiastic robust testimony and sound drew a crowd. Some onlookers were unable to come up with an answer for the miracles God had done. Hearing irrefutable testimony of the changed lives of the men of the Teen Challenge Choir, some in the crowd began to heckle, falling back on a "theological" discussion of the nature of God.
Laughing, one man asked, "Can God do everything? "
Confidently Lenny answered, "My friend, He is a miracle working God. He changed my life. He is omnipotent, He can do anything!"
"Well then, answer me this," he said, "Is it possible, can God create a rock so big that He cannot lift it?"
"Of course, " Lenny replied enthusiastically. "He can do anything!"
"Well then," replied the heckler, "If God can create a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it, then God is not all powerful because that means He cannot lift it."
I have always found it fascinating that the human heart, self-willed and arrogant, faced with the miraculous, would rather play word games than come to FAITH! According to his argument, omnipotence is self-contradictory, so God cannot be omnipotent. Well, in truth it is not that simple, the explanation is more important than the answer.
The foundation of this foolishness is misunderstanding about words like "almighty" or "omnipotent." These terms do not say that God can do everything. Rather, they contrast God's overwhelming power with our limitations. Power is the ability to effect change - to create or make something happen. God (being unlimited) has unlimited power, and the Bible affirms this (Job 137:23; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 4:8;).
JJ Packer says, " ... God can do whatever is possible to be done. God cannot, however, do that which is actually impossible. This is because true impossibility is not based on the amount of power one has, it is based on what is really possible. The truly impossible is not made possible by adding more power. Therefore, unless context indicates otherwise (e.g. Matthew 19:26 where man's ability is being shown in contrast to God's), impossibility means the same thing whether or not God is involved."
This philosophical conundrum is based on a false premise- that God being almighty means that He can do anything. In fact, the Bible itself lists things God cannot do.
He cannot lie.
Hebrews 6:18 So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.
He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 If we abide faithless, God remains faithful he cannot deny himself;
Not only does the scripture list things God cannot do, reason dictates there are many things He cannot do.
He can't go anywhere, He IS everywhere. He is omnipresent
He can't learn new things. He already knows everything. He is omniscient
He cannot fail, He is all powerful. He is omnipotent.
He cannot stop loving you. He is omni-for us, no matter what else may be against us (Rom 8:31)
Philosophical questions are built on reason and words The power of God goes deeper than reason and words and, through faith, is the Truth that rules everything. The things that we "reason" that God cannot do are not because of the limitations of God but because of the nature of words, reason and our perception of reality itself.
God cannot do that which is not actually possible, like creating a two-sided triangle, or a married bachelor. Just because words can be strung together in a foolish question, does not make the impossible possible - they are contradictions, and in reality, truly impossible.
But when all of our foolish human reasoning is finished, please do not forget this, God did send a Rock, and the stone that the builders rejected is our Rock. That Rock is Jesus Christ. God sent Him to lift the burden that is crushing lives through sin, self, and our unconscionable selfishness. His love does more than lift our burdens, He overwhelms them. Whether addiction, despair, brokenness or betrayal, these rocks can only be lifted by the one true Rock, Jesus Christ.
The world has no answer for addiction and reason cannot supply a cure, but this Rock, Jesus Christ, He has changed it all. He has set us free. He may have created people foolish enough to ask silly questions, but He cannot create a loser, He can only set them free. And the most important thing that I can share . . .
The One thing God CANNOT DO--He cannot stop loving you!
He will never give up on you.