This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)
Can God make a rock so big that He can’t lift it?
This is a paradox that atheists often use to disprove God’s existence. They say if God is omnipotent, then He can create a rock so big that He can’t pick it up. If God cannot make a rock like this, then He is not omnipotent. On the other hand, if God can make a rock so big that He can’t pick it up, then He isn’t omnipotent.
Either proposal shows that God cannot do something, therefore, He is not omnipotent and does not exist. The fault is in the question itself, for example, if one asks a married man, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” and given the married man has never done such a thing, if he answers “NO!” then it means he must still be beating her, and if he answers “Yes” then, it means he is still beating her. This is the same sort of logic. Such questions mislead a discussion from the start and therefore set the stage for a wrong conclusion.
The Bible presents evidence that God is Omnipotent and has all the power over all things at all times and in all ways (Revelation 1:8; 19:6; Ephesians 1:19). So, to the question, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14), the Bible declares, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2). For “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ).
God carries out His own purposes regardless of men (Isaiah 43:13; 14:27). “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).
What God can’t do
But omnipotence does not mean that God can do literally everything. God is holy and He cannot sin (Psalms 78:41). He is truthful and cannot lie (Numbers 23:19). God cannot change His nature (Malachi 3:6). And He cannot deny the demands of His holy character (Psalm 71:22). God can’t change His moral or physical laws (Matthew 5:18). He declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35).
And if we examine closely the plan of salvation, we will see that despite God’s being all-powerful and hating evil, He allows evil to happen because He granted the freedom of choice to His intelligent beings. They get to choose their own destinies (Deuteronomy 30:19; 1 Kings 18:21).
God is love (1 John 4:8). And only Love would give free will to His creatures and run the risk of receiving the suffering that sin has caused the Godhead. The God of love desires only the voluntary love of those who have free will (Joshua 24:15). And when sin came, the Godhead came up with a plan that would allow the universe to understand the basic elements in the great controversy between good and evil, and thus make sure that sin will never arise again (Nahum 1:9).
The Father sent His Son to redeem the human race from the guilt and power of sin by His earthly life, death, and resurrection. And then He became the Head of a new and sinless beings (Romans 8:32). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
In the battle against sin, God, being truly love, can use only truth (Numbers 23:19) and love (1 John 4:16), whereas Satan uses deception (2 Corinthians 11:14), lies (John 8:44), and hateful force (John 10:10). Thus, there are things that God, though all powerful, can never do.
In His service,