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Impossible Things (1)

Updated: Feb 16


Would you believe me if I told you that I could take $1,000.00 and turn it into $1,000,000.00 in one year?

I hope you would NOT believe me! More specifically, I hope you wouldn't waste $1,000.00 on such an absurd claim. My track record does not support such a claim. Only a fool would put faith in me to accomplish such a fiscal impossibility. Or at least, such a fiscal improbability. I guess theoretically it would be possible, but the likelihood of success would be vanishingly small.

Some things are so improbable that it is safe to call them impossible, even if they are theoretically attainable. But there are also things that are impossible altogether. They are simply not possible. Or at least, not possible under certain circumstances.

Let's examine some impossible things.


As far as I can tell, there are 3 main categories of impossible things.

First: some things are impossible for you and me, but not impossible for God. And, since these things are possible with God, by faith they become possible to us (like moving mountains - 1st Corinthians 13:2 & Mark 11:22-23).

Then, other things are possible for us, but not possible for God. That is, because of His moral nature. It is impossible for Him to do immoral things.

Finally, there are things that are impossible absolutely. Neither God, nor men can draw square circles, for example.

Discussing category 3 (things that are logically impossible and therefore absolutely impossible under any circumstance... except in paradoxical speech) might be interesting, but is mostly futile. However, discussing things in the first 2 categories can be a highly productive endeavor.

Allow me to postulate a relationship between one of the things that God can't do (but we can), and one of the things we can't do without God's intervention.

The thing God can't do, but we can, is actually a thing that we can't NOT do.

Question: What is it that we can't NOT do?

Answer: Lie.

God can't lie (Titus 1:2).

Humans can't help lying (Psalm 58:3). We are just like our natural father, Satan (John 8:44).

You may say, "I don't lie!" But if you do say that, you will be lying (1st John 1:8 & 10). You may say, "I could stop lying if I wanted to!" But, you would be lying to yourself. You may lie less than you once did, and perhaps now only in relatively minor ways, but we are all natural born liars.

Do you know what the problem is with liars? Perhaps there are many problems, but the biggest problem in dealing with a habitual liar is that you can't trust them. It's impossible to be sure whether they will tell you the truth or not, so you can't trust them. Or at least, it's foolish to trust a liar.

That brings us back to the fact that God can't lie. He is truth (John 14:6). So what do you think that means for us?

Answer: We can trust Him. More than that: we SHOULD trust Him.

Now, to introduce the main point of this line of reasoning. In Hebrews 11:6 we find this gospel truth: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)

The impossible thing in focus here is the pleasing of a Holy and righteous God by unholy and unrighteous creatures.

Question: How can pathological liars bring pleasure to the heart of the One true God?

Answer: Faith.

But that introduces another problem. Faith is not something that can naturally exist in the heart of a fallen human being. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). And, most importantly, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).

So, get this straight:

  1. I can't please God without faith.

  2. I can't have faith without God's truth.

  3. God can't give me anything but truth.

Allow me to repeat that with a little more meat on the bones:

1. It is impossible to bring pleasure to God's heart unless you approach Him in faith. If you don't trust Him, then you can't even be accepted into His presence. Again, that's Hebrews 11:6, "...he who comes to God must believe..." The thing that separated humanity from God in the first place was an unwillingness to continue to believe in God's goodness, power, wisdom, and love. To return to Him, it only makes sense that those sentiments have to be restored. But how is that accomplished?

Answer: repentance and faith are cultivated in us by the Spirit through exposure to God's revelation: biblical truth (Romans 10:14).

2. It is impossible to have faith apart from an infusion of God's grace accomplished through an application of the gospel. Jesus said, "The words I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63). No man has ever gone from unbelief to belief on his own. It always takes a proclamation of God's truth. That is the seed that springs forth into a life-giving plant in the heart of the individual (Luke 8:11-15). Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32)

3. It is impossible for God's word to be wrong (Isaiah 55:11). Consider this lengthy explanation from Hebrews 6:16-20, "Men truly swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. So God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which enters into that within the veil; where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever..."

Our hope (that is, our confident expectation and anticipation of the sure fulfillment of God's promises to us) is secure, sure, steadfast, and guaranteed. The truth has been confirmed. God's promises are reliable (2nd Corinthians 1:20). We can depend on Him. He CAN be trusted.

God's nature and character are immutable (unchanging and unchangeable), therefore His Word is equally resilient.

God's track record is impeccable (faultless and untarnished), therefore we are fools if we doubt Him.

God's demonstrations of power and love are unparalleled and ultimately unassailable, therefore we would do ourselves a great favor if we would just take Him at His word. Trust His heart. Comply with His will. Embrace His plan. Yield to His Spirit. Surrender to His wooing. Drink from the gospel fountain and feel the pleasure of the Almighty as He relishes the faith that He Himself constructs in your heart, mind, and soul.

It is impossible that God could lie to you. So, have faith in Him. It is impossible for you to please Him any other way. And if you do place sincere faith in Him, it will be impossible for Him to resist the attraction that He will feel toward you. He is willing and able to save any and all who come to Him by faith in His Living Word, Jesus (Hebrews 7:25).

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