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"When We All Get to Heaven" -- A Hymn Love Story

Updated on July 31, 2013

For lovers of "When We All Get to Heaven"

This is the Web page for you! Here we have the back stories (the Scripture, the setting), the side stories, YouTube videos, and associated ramblings about "When We All Get to Heaven," complete with lyrics and links to sheet music and guitar chords -- all FREE.

For those of you looking for recordings of "When We All Get to Heaven," we can direct you to Amazon's finest listings.

My name is Deeann D. Mathews, and this is one of a large set of pages I'm doing about my favorite hymns (some of which you know, and others of which you don't -- but you will!). In one of my many other lives, I am the Creative Director of Praising Pilgrims Music, a little music publishing company that has brought the world The Free HIMbook, a directory of links to free sheet music (chords now being added) for more than 400 hymns. Here's the secret: I am a hymn NUT, and I'd like you to share my passion with me. So, here is my little offering, a little sacrifice of fellowship and doing good toward God and toward you all around the joyous hymn, "When We All Get to Heaven." Enjoy!

(the first image -- that "heavenly heart" -- was created by Paul B. Roman, and can be freely and legally accessed at commons.wikimedia.org -- search for Plismo!)

"When We All Get to Heaven," YouTube - Southern Gospel style!

"When We All Get to Heaven," YouTube too - A RESOUNDING piano duet!

Now THIS is an instrumental worthy of the joy of this hymn! Definitely listen while you read, before you read, after you read . . .

Back Story and Ramblings

Excerpted from "The Singing Devotional," Vol. 1

It surely would be good to know that there is another and better place to land just in case the world does go ahead and come to an end. The thing is, even if the world doesn't come to an end in the next few decades, we will. Not a happy thought for most of us, is it?

That which is not naturally a joy to us -- contemplating the end of our earthly life -- is the backbone of the joy ringing in "When We All Get to Heaven."

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,

Sing His mercy and His grace.

In the mansions bright and blessèd

He'll prepare for us a place.

The Sky -- from Oven Fresh and Wikimedia Commons

This verse is based on one of the most quoted and beloved things said by the Lord Jesus Christ to His own, in John 14:1-3:

1. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself.

Think of it this way: according to Genesis, it took God only six days to create every beautiful and delightful thing we experience in the universe. But consider -- if the breathtaking things in the universe took only six days to create, what must something be like that God has been working on for now TWO THOUSAND years? Just think about that for a few moments . . . doesn't it just boggle your imagination? And what about the activity plan for Heaven? The Lord Jesus Christ, Who loves His own so very much, made this request of His Father in John 17 (among others; read John 17 for yourself and be blessed):

John 17:24 -- Father, I will that they also, Whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.

Try to imagine the glory God the Father has been piling on God the Son since eternity past -- I know it can't be done, but try anyway as I share one of the few descriptions of where exactly God's people will be:

Revelation 21:10-11

10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God,

11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

Later on in the chapter you can read and find out that the city and the street of the city are made of pure gold; the walls are studded with precious stones, and each one of the twelve gates is made of one colossal, perfect pearl. But, most notably, Revelation 21:23 notes that "The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." The Lamb -- the Lamb of God, Who by His death, burial, and resurrection took away the sins of the whole world -- the Lord Jesus Christ will be the light of the city, His glory passing through all the gorgeous jewels and reflecting off the many, many reflective surfaces of gold and pearls. In the whole of the universe, past, present, and future, nothing will compare to His beauty, and to the beauty of the place where He has chosen to dwell with His own, forever, and ever, and ever. He IS the glory of Heaven, and there His own will at last be able to worship and enjoy Him without end. All sufferings and struggles endured for His sake here will be fully rewarded there, just by the privilege of forever seeing and being with Him.

Let us then be true and faithful,

Trusting, serving every day;

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay.

Refrain

When we all get to Heaven,

What a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus,

We'll sing and shout the victory!

Above the Clouds -- from Oven Fresh and Wikimedia Commons

More about the wonders of Heaven - After you've read Revelation 21 and 22 . . .

The Glory of Heaven: The Truth about Heaven, Angels and Eternal Life
The Glory of Heaven: The Truth about Heaven, Angels and Eternal Life

A serious book on a serious subject . . . every time I borrow it from my father's collection, it challenges and blesses me. I highly recommend it for anybody who wants the REAL DEAL on Heaven.

 

Now, here comes the bad news

Exactly how much is "all"?

We all know from kindergarten or elementary school that "all' means everyone, but even the "all" in this sentence does not include everyone. It only includes those that have been to kindergarten or elementary school, and that leaves out millions and millions of little folk who aren't at that age yet. Thus we must carefully examine that "all" in "When We All Get to Heaven."

Now all COULD mean all -- the Lord Jesus Christ paid for every sin -- every evil act in word, thought, or deed -- that has ever been committed by every human being, ever, and only requires that we believe on Him as our Lord and our Savior, a la I Corinthians 15:3-4 -- "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." So, the invitation from God to all is for real.

But, unfortunately, there are a lot of people who just love their sin. They just love being in charge of their own lives and not submitting to God's authority -- some have even gone so far as to invent for themselves systems by which it seems reasonable to them to claim God does not exist, and that the universe has been running just fine without Him. They love doing what they want to do, thinking what they want to think, and acting how they want to act -- in essence, they don't want God because they like playing at being a little god themselves -- and you'll find such folks among all classes, ethnicities, races, and professed creeds.

To put a twist on a popular saying, if the shoe fits, change shoes -- quick! --because there are some things and people that are just not going to be in Heaven:

Revelation 21:27 -- And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Let's take the easy part first -- those that are written in the Lamb's book of life are those that have believed on Him and the work He has done, not holding on to any idea of their own rights and merits, but trusting fully in Him for their salvation. But those that work abomination and make up lies -- they won't be in Heaven. Now some may think, "Well, I may lie every now and then, but I'm not abominable." Well, there is another list to contend with.

Revelation 22:14-15

14. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.

15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Somewhere in verse 15 and in Revelation 21:27, we all are -- the only difference is that some of us have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has cleansed from our sin and covered us in His righteousness, and some of us are still in our sins. Those who remain in their sin will not be allowed to come up and ruin Heaven for everybody else. After all, if you built a house like this for you, your friends, and your kids --

Mississippi Governor's Mansion -- from Charlie Brenner and Wikimedia Commons

-- you wouldn't allow anybody who had rolled around in rotting garbage to come in, sit on your furniture, eat at your table, and hang around with your friends, your kids, and you if they refused to clean up, would you? That's just common sense. Now sin in Heaven would be a far worse problem than someone covered in week-old garbage sitting around your house, and God has far more sense than we do. That is why He is not letting anyone who has not been cleansed by the blood of His Son into Heaven.

Which brings me to the last part. Forget Revelation 21:27 and Revelation 22:15 for a minute -- look again at 22:14. "Blessed are they which do His commandments" -- that is the "all" referred to in "When We All Get to Heaven," right there. And if you are not already part of that all, there is a simple command for you -- and your family with you, by the way:

Acts 16:31 -- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 -- "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."

Do join the company of those that can sing this, if you're not already a Christian . . .

Onward to the prize before us!

Soon His beauty we'll behold;

Soon the pearly gates will open;

We shall tread the streets of gold.

Refrain

When we all get to Heaven,

What a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus,

We'll sing and shout the victory!

Sun Break -- from WitekTHC and Wikimedia Commons

Now to get invited to somebody's house . . . - . . . you'd better have peace with them

Peace with God: The Secret Happiness
Peace with God: The Secret Happiness

Seriously . . . as long as the Rev. Billy Graham has been traveling the world (until his body finally just said, "No more"), preaching the same message, aren't you just a LITTLE bit curious about what he has to share with you about the Owner of Heaven, and how you can have peace with Him? If you don't like the book, you can always put it on the shelf to collect dust . . . but somehow, given how this book has been passed down carefully through three generations of my family, I think it will bless you! Or, save the money, and go back and read I Corinthians 15:3-4 again . . . and believe it!

 

"When We All Get to Heaven," lyrics

Get it all right here!

"When We All Get to Heaven," by Eliza E. Hewitt and Emily D. Wilson, 1898

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,

Sing His mercy and His grace.

In the mansions bright and blessèd

He'll prepare for us a place.

Refrain

When we all get to Heaven,

What a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus,

We'll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,

Clouds will overspread the sky;

But when traveling days are over,

Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Refrain

Let us then be true and faithful,

Trusting, serving every day;

Just one glimpse of Him in glory

Will the toils of life repay.

Refrain

Onward to the prize before us!

Soon His beauty we'll behold;

Soon the pearly gates will open;

We shall tread the streets of gold.

Refrain

"When We All Get to Heaven" recordings

Three versions of this beloved hymn (Note: the Anderson Sanctuary Choir calls its version "We Will Sing," so don't be confused like I was should you purchase the album and be looking for it)!

If you loved the above . . . - . . . go ahead and get a little more!

Joyful Praise
Joyful Praise

Please don't run because there's no image . . this is one of my personal favorite albums, and I highly recommend it. HEARING is believing, in this case!

 
No. 1 Congregational
No. 1 Congregational

Ah, the sheer power of a cappella congregational singing -- this is a powerful piece of work here!

 
Word in Song
Word in Song

Before encountering the Jackson Southernaires, I had never even considered what "When We All Get to Heaven" and several other favorites would sound like in gospel sextet form -- but I'm glad I found out, and you will be glad to find out too!

 

Talk to me, people! - Share your thoughts here!

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    • cwkerns lm profile image

      cwkerns lm 6 years ago

      One of my favorite hymns.

    • businessblossom1 profile image
      Author

      businessblossom1 6 years ago

      @James43302: You're welcome -- sorry for the belatedness of my acknowledgment. This is a big favorite in my church too -- average age is 70 in my church, so they MEAN it when they sing it. Thanks for dropping by!

    • James43302 profile image

      James43302 6 years ago

      Oh I really love this hymn. Every time my church sings it when they get to the "shout" part we actually shout it. Thank you for sharing the information about this hymn! God bless :)