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When We All Get to Heaven

By Hymn Stories

      "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." --1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

      Learning to sing praise to God now is an excellent way of preparing ourselves for heaven. The Scriptures teach that praise and singing will be the believers' prime occupation throughout eternity. Someone has said, "Nobody dreams of music in hell, and nobody conceives of heaven without it." Allow your mind to anticipate that day in the heavenly courts when the entire family of God--those from every tribe, language, people, and nation--will see their Lord and together will "sing and shout the victory."

      This glorious hope revives our courage for the way,
      When each in expectation lives and longs to see the day
      When from sorrow, toil, pain, and sin, we shall be free,
      And perfect love and joy shall reign throughout all eternity.
      --John Fawcett

      The author of this text, Eliza Edmunds Hewitt, was a school teacher in Philadelphia and a Christian lay worker who was deeply devoted to the Sunday school movement. Like many of the other gospel song writers during the latter half of the nineteenth century, Eliza's goal in writing her songs was to reach children and teach them the basic truths of the gospel. She dedicated this particular song to her own Sunday school class in Philadelphia. Though an invalid for much of her life, Eliza was always active and enjoyed a long personal friendship with Fanny Crosby. These two women met often for fellowship and discussion of their new hymns. Eliza Hewitt wrote other gospel hymn texts such as "More About Jesus," "Stepping in the Light," and "There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today."

      Miss Hewitt often attended the Methodist camp meetings at Ocean Grove, New Jersey. It was here that she collaborated with Emily Wilson, the wife of a Methodist district superintendent in Philadelphia, in the writing of this triumphant gospel hymn--a favorite of young and old alike. "When We All Get to Heaven" was first published in 1898.

      The anticipation of heaven has often been described as the oxygen of the human soul. "Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).

      When by His grace I shall look on His face, That will be glory, be glory for me. --Charles H. Gabriel

      Allow this glorious hope to brighten each day and keep you "true, faithful, trusting, serving . . ."

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