Will You Have a Rag or a Robe?
Will You Have a Rag or a Robe? is a sermon teaching us to choose to come back to God and He will exchange our sin-worn rags for a heavenly robe.
The book of Isaiah focuses on revival. Our lives, our church, our nation is in need of revival. Revival is when God’s people turn back to God and give their hearts fully to Him, surrender to Him, and let Him work in our midst. A byproduct of revival is many people being saved but revival is for God’s people. The whole book of Isaiah is set on God talking to His people and saying to them “You turned away from me, turn back to me. I love you. I want you to be my children. I want to be your God. I want to have this close relationship with you.” In turning away from God, the people suffered greatly. When people turn to the Lord, they received great blessings. But every time they turned away from the Lord they have experienced great difficulty. How God deals with the people of Israel is how He deals with people in general and we learn a great deal from that.
What many people see as the harshness of God in the Old Testament is really just God’s justice. Does God take care of evil in this world? He has, He is, and He will. In Isaiah chapter 64, we see a contrast of the holiness and majesty of God with the sinfulness of mankind. We seem to have forgotten the holiness of God. Many no longer see one day of the week as the Lord’s day.
There is coming a day of God’s judgment. He will deal with the wickedness of this world. God’s will for mankind is not judgment. But for us who love Him, we cannot begin to imagine what He has prepared for us. God judges sin but He is also loving. Would we not prefer God as our father rather than our judge? He gives us a choice in the matter. God meets with them who join in fellowship, but He is angry with those who have sinned. What causes a person to sin? Heredity and the environment are factors that cause someone to sin. God placed man in a perfect environment, yet he still sinned. They made a choice. The environment mattered. Even in a perfect environment man can still sin, he can choose to do wrong. We may have made God angry but we can still be saved and that is God’s will for mankind. God does not want us to go to Hell, He wants us to go to Heaven.
It’s Our Choice
The Lord is going to come and some will be taken and some will be left. God wants us to be with Him in Heaven so we can live with Him there forever and ever. That only happens when we are saved. Those who choose not to love God are doomed to Hell which was made for the Devil and his angels. It is a place for those who reject God, reject His love, His grace, and His salvation.
God is merciful and gracious. We are with an unclean thing and all our righteousness, all the good that we are in totality, are as filthy rags. Our sin has taken us away from God. We don’t call upon God because we are consumed in our sin. Our sin creates a barrier to God, it is built by our sins.
Breaking the Barrier
Jesus died at the cross and broke that barrier to redeem mankind. God is our Father and we are His children when we are born again. We need to be yielded to the Lord and we need to be yielded to His will. We need to come to ourselves and should pray for mercy and forgiveness. Everyone has a choice, to live in rags or in a robe. It is pride that keeps us in our sin and prevents us from repenting from our sins and blaming everything and everyone for our troubles. Start by admitting it is our fault. Surrender our will and acknowledge our sin and that brings us into the will of His grace and brings us home. The love of God calls to us, we’re going the wrong way, turn back, and He will offer us a robe for our rags.
Will You Have a Rag or a Robe? sermon starts with verses from Isaiah 64:1-29:
1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!
3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.
6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?
I Corinthians 2:9:
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:31-34, 41:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
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