Preaching on the Sinai Side of Calvary

The following is an excerpt from a sermon on John 3.16 preached by W.A. Criswell in 1987.
He recalls an incident in the life of the great evangelist, D.L. Moody.

“Have you ever read the story of Harry Moorehouse? One of the most unusual providences I’ve ever heard of; when Dwight L. Moody finished his revival meeting in this last century in Birmingham, England, to bid him goodbye among the throngs was a young man named Harry Moorehouse. And he said to Moody, “I hope to come to America. And when I do, I’ll preach for you.” Well, you don’t preach for somebody on your own invitation; you have to be invited. He wasn’t invited. “I’ll preach for you.” Moody was gracious and said, “Well, when you come to America, you be sure and speak to us. Let us know. We’ll welcome you.”

About six months later, D.L. Moody in Chicago received a telephone call from New York City. It was that young man, Harry Moorehouse. And he said to Moody, “I’m here in New York and I’ll be in Chicago Wednesday, and I’ll preach for you Wednesday night.”

When Wednesday came, Moody had to leave on another assignment, and he told his deacons, “This young fellow in New York, from Birmingham, England, says he’s going to preach for us tonight, Wednesday. Now you ask him to say a few words in kindness and courtesy.” So Moody left.

That night, Wednesday night, the deacons invited the young fellow to say a few words. He stood up there and he began pouring out his soul and heart on John 3:16. And when he gave an invitation, there were about ten people saved.

Well, the deacons were overwhelmed! So they said, “You preach for us tomorrow night, Thursday night. We’ll have services.”

The young fellow stood up there Thursday night, preached on the same text, John 3:16. And there were about fifteen people saved. They were overwhelmed! And they announced, “On Friday night, we’ll have services again. And this young man will preach.” And only Friday night, they had about twenty people saved. They announced services for Saturday night.

And on Saturday, Mr. Moody came back to Chicago. And his wife said to him, she said, “Husband, we’re in the midst of a great revival. And this young fellow, Harry Moorehouse, will be preaching again tonight.” And she said to Moody, “The people are being converted, and you’re going to be converted!” Moody was astonished at what his wife said. He replied, “I’ve been preaching over twenty years and you say I’m going to be converted!”

“Yes,” she says, “and you will see. You’ll understand.” When the service began on Saturday night, Moody sat on the front row, highly critical. The young fellow began preaching again on John 3:16. And there were about twenty-five or thirty people saved on Saturday night.

That continued every night for six solid weeks. And when it was over, Moody said, “I got converted, changed.” He said, “Heretofore, I have been preaching on the Sinai side of Calvary—been preaching hellfire and damnation and thunder and lightning! But,” he said, “after those six weeks, I began preaching the other side of Calvary: grace, and forgiveness, and love, and salvation in the outpouring of the loving heart and saving blood of our Lord.”

Copyright © 2013 The W. A. Criswell Foundation.
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Posted with permission.
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