When We All Get to Heaven is one of the most beloved Christian hymns of the last 100 years. Ever since Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920) wrote it, people have joyfully sung the hymn in their homes and churches. The hymn is full of biblical imagery that recalls the teachings of Jesus Christ and can encourage people of any age.
The chorus of the song reveals the hymn’s message. “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!” The lyrics describe heaven as a place of joy and reflect on the victory believers will have over the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Christians look forward to heaven with hope and anticipation. When We All Get to Heaven is upbeat and joyful to match the excitement Christians have about one day seeing Christ face-to-face (1 Cor. 13:12) and living in a place without tears or pain (Rev. 21:4). See the lyrics to the entire hymn below.
When We All Get to Heaven: Verses and Chorus
When We All Get to Heaven contains four stanzas and a refrain.
1 Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.
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!
2 While we walk the pilgrim pathway
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when trav’ling days are over
Not a shadow, not a sigh. [Refrain]
3 Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving ev’ry day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay. [Refrain]
4 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]
What is the meaning of When We All Get to Heaven?
Stanza 1: “Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace; In the mansions bright and blessed. He’ll prepare for us a place.” The first stanza invites singers to reflect on three attributes of God: his love, as expressed through Christ, his mercy, and his grace. The lyrics about mansions and preparing a place for believers recall Christ’s teaching.
- John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (ESV)
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!” The refrain of the hymn invites singers to reflect on heaven as it’s revealed in passages like Revelation 21:1-4. As John writes, heaven is a place of no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Heaven won’t be a place of momentary rejoicing but permanent rejoicing.
- Revelation 21:1-4, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,a for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’ and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” (ESV)
Stanza 2: While we walk the pilgrim pathway, Clouds will overspread the sky; But when trav’ling days are over, Not a shadow, not a sigh. [Refrain]” The second stanza of the hymn reflects on Christians being in the world, but not belonging to it. Then, it pictures the return of Christ and heaven as a place without darkness or pain.
- John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (ESV)
- Revelation 1:7, “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (ESV)
- Revelation 22:5, “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (ESV)
Stanza 3: “Let us then be true and faithful, Trusting, serving ev’ry day; Just one glimpse of Him in glory, Will the toils of life repay. [Refrain]” The third stanza of the hymn encourages believers to be faithful to God, experience his presence, and persevere through trials.
- 1 Samuel 12:24, “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” (ESV)
- Psalm 16:11, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (ESV)
- James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (ESV)
Stanza 4: “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]” The fourth stanza of the hymn implores believers to finish the race set before them and imagine the moment when heaven is seen and entered.
- 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (ESV)
- Revelation 21:21, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” (ESV
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