Harry Morehouse (1876–1934) was a wild young man who, by age sixteen, was a gambler, gang-leader, and thief. But during the Revival of 1859, Henry gave his life to Jesus. He was soon heard preaching the Gospel with all his heart; and his favorite text was John 3:16. One day in Ireland in 1867, he met the far-famed world evangelist, D. L. Moody; and Henry had the nerve to invite himself to preach in Moody’s church in Chicago. Sometime later, Moody returned home from a trip and learned that Morehouse had shown up, started preaching, and was drawing great crowds.
“He has preached two sermons from John 3:16,” Moody’s wife said to him, “and I think you will like him, although he preached a little different from what you do.”
“How is that?”
“Well, he tells sinners God loves them.”
Moody wasn’t so sure about that; but that evening he went to hear Morehouse preach. The young man stood up in the pulpit and said,
“If you will turn to the third chapter of John and the sixteenth verse, you will find my text.”
Moody later recalled, “He preached a most extraordinary sermon from that verse…. I never knew up to that time that God loved us so much. This heart of mine began to thaw out, and I could not keep back the tears. It was like news from a far country. I just drank it in.”
Night after night, Morehouse preached from John 3:16, and it had a life-changing effect on D. L. Moody.
“I have never forgotten those nights,” Moody said later.
“I have preached a different Gospel since, and I have had more power with God and man since then.”
Later, when Morehouse fell ill and was on his deathbed, he looked up and told his friends,
“If it were the Lord’s will to raise me again, I should like to preach from the text, ‘God so loved the world’” (“The Man Who Loved John 3:16”, Robert J. Morgan).