And what happens when you repent of your disobedience, fear God, understand your sin, and stop making excuses? Well just consider W. P. Mackay. He writes:
My dear mother … had been a godly, pious woman, quite often telling me of the Savior, and many times I had been a witness to her wrestling in prayer for my soul’s salvation.
But nothing had made a deep impression on me. The older I grew the more wicked I became. For the God of my mother I did not care in the least, but rather sought by all means to drive Him out of my thoughts. I was in danger of becoming a thorough infidel, but for the voice of my conscience ever accusing and reproaching me.
Then something happened that changed my life. One day a guy who had fallen off a ladder at work was brought into the hospital. He was badly injured and had no hope of survival. I asked him if there was anyone we could notify. He said, “No,” but aasked me for “The Book.”
“What book?” the doctor asked
“Oh, just ask her for the Book, she will know,” was his reply.
After a week of such suffering, he died. I went to see him on my regular visits at least once a day. What struck me most was the quiet, almost happy expression which was constantly on his face. I knew he was a Christian, but of course, I never brought that up
After the man had died, the nurse asked
“What shall we do with this?”, holding up a book in her hand.
“What kind of book is it?” I asked.
“The Bible of the poor man. His landlady brought it on her second visit. As long as he was able to read it, he did so, and when he was unable to do so anymore, he kept it under his bed cover.”
I took the Bible and—could I trust my eyes? It was my own Bible! The Bible which my mother had given me when I left my parents’ home, and which later, when short of money, I sold for a small amount. My name was still in it, written in my mother’s hand. Beneath my name was the verse she had selected for me. I stood as if in a dream, but I regained my self-control, managing to conceal before those present my deep emotion. In seemingly indifferent manner and tone I answered the nurse, “The book is old and has hardly any value, let me keep it, and I will see about the rest.”
I took the Bible to my room. It had been used frequently. Many leaves were loose, others were torn; the cover was also damaged. Almost every page gave evidence that it had been read very often. Many places were underscored, and while looking through it, I read some of the precious verses, and a word I had heard in the days of my youth came back to memory.
With a deep sense of shame I looked upon the Book, the precious Book. It has given comfort and refreshing to the unfortunate man in his last hours. It has been a guide to him into eternal life, so that he had been enabled to die in peace and happiness. And this Book, the last gift of my mother, I had actually sold for a ridiculous price.
I need not add much more. I’ll just say that reclaiming that Bible was the cause of my conversion.
It was this man, Dr. W. P. Mackay, who later wrote the famous hymn Revive Us Again:
Revive us again,
Fill each heart with Thy love
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above.
Hallelujah! Thine the glory
Hallelujah! Thine the glory
Revive us again.