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The CHURCH HYMNAL: “Won’t It Be Wonderful There?”

Bill Lloyd
Bill Lloyd

The CHURCH HYMNAL: “Won’t It Be Wonderful There?”

There are just six (6) months to go –– if the Lord tarries His coming –– and the two-year season of the 2016 political “reality shows” will be over.  I detest TV reality shows of any kind, and I also hate national politics –– or even politics within a Church denomination.  With that in mind, I pray there will be NO reruns EVER again of what we have seen on both sides of this year’s political argument.  But we’re talking “politicians” here, so I’m NOT holding my breath.

 
Bennett Cerf –– of TV’s “What’s My Line?” fame –– once told of Adlai Stevenson’s grandfather who ran for the office of vice president in 1892.  (The elder Stevenson soon after became Grover Cleveland’s vice president, while the younger Stevenson later became Governor of Illinois (1948-1952).  Young Adlai was also his party’s presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956).
 
When the elder Adlai Stevenson hit the whistle stops of the Northwest in his bid for the 1892 vice-presidency, there was much controversy over one particular Northwestern situation.  That controversy had to do with whether the name of the tallest peak was to be “Mount Tacoma” OR “Mount Rainier.”  Rather than being pinned down to his thoughts on the matter, Stevenson worked out a deal with the engineer in every town where their special train stopped.
 
At each whistle-stop, Stevenson would boldly tell potential voters standing at trackside, “When I am vice president, I will not rest until this crowning beauty of the great state of Washington is appropriately named.  And I am in complete agreement with the worthy gentlemen who insist that the name be ––––.”  At this point, the engineer would sound the train whistle loud and long, and the train would then suddenly take off for the next whistle-stop location.  Needless to say, Stevenson never completed the sentence –– at ANY location.
 
So, with all this talk of “politics,” I’m sure all of America will be mighty happy when this two-year squabble for those seeking the presidency has ended.  I think nearly all of us can speak of that day this November by asking, “Won’t it be wonderful THEN?”
 
But as happy as I’ll be when Election Day 2016 is over, my REAL thoughts are turned Heavenward.  I think many Christians join me in just wanting to get out of this filthy old world and be with Jesus, as well as to be with those loved ones gone to Heaven before.  I join songwriters, James Rowe and Homer F. Morris, in asking, “Won’t It Be Wonderful THERE?”
 
This 1930 Gospel song is found on page 358 in “the old Red back book” Church Hymnal.  The songwriters encourage the Saints of God by first telling, “When with the Savior we enter the gloryland, Won’t it be wonderful there?  ENDED the troubles and cares of the story-land, Won’t it be wonderful there?”
 
Rowe and Morris continue their look ahead by writing, “Walking and talking with Christ, the supernal One,” and then, “Praising, adoring the matchless eternal One, Won’t it be wonderful there?”
 
Lastly, the songwriters tell, “There where the tempest will NEVER be sweeping us, Won’t it be wonderful there? Sure that FOREVER the Lord will be keeping us, Won’t it be wonderful there?”
 
Many unbelievers often think “Heaven” is no more than a place where everyone is found floating on fluffy white clouds and playing harps.  To these thinkers, Heaven is merely a make-believe place, much like the little game played with children that tells, “Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors, and see the people.”
 
HEAVEN is not an incidental Land of the unknown, but it is a very definite place, and one prepared for the child of God.  “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. ~  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. ~  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
 
With Heaven being a literal and definite place, we learn we’re to “…lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20).
 
HEAVEN is a place of eternal youth.  In that Land, there will be no feeble tottering of those once aged and infirmed.  As you walk down the streets of gold, you’ll hear no sounds of tapping of the cane by those once blind on Earth.
 
In Heaven, you’ll see your loved ones skipping and shouting like a young child.  You’ll not see anyone there with silver hair and wrinkled brows sitting on their front porch in a rocking chair, for the cheeks of that Grandmother will now reveal eternal youth, and in her step you will behold the sprightliness of life.
 
As you roam all over Heaven, you’ll find no cemeteries, for in that Land of eternal things, no one will ever die.  Since there is no pain, no sorrow and no death in Heaven, there is also no room for tears.  As we triumphantly enter the gates of Heaven, God will wipe all tears from our eyes.
 
HEAVEN is a place where we’ll enjoy a wonderful Home-coming.  I remember as a small child when I learned from my best friend that he and his family were moving.  I was totally devastated, until I learned a bit later this family was moving just one street over.  As devastating as this news was to this then seven-year-old, I learned later in life that other separations in this life are inevitable.  I learned of the death of some family members.
 
In Heaven, we’ll see Jesus, but we’ll also see our loved ones in the Lord who have gone on before.  In that Land, we’ll also meet millions of others, including the Saints of old we only read about in the Bible.  While he was with us, my Dad found great enjoyment in meeting strangers.  In fact, he was known for introducing strangers to other strangers.  With that in mind, I can only imagine, for now, how he is now meeting many others in Heaven –– and introducing THEM to others.
 
HEAVEN will have no end.   The story is told of a king who had engraved on his ring these words: “Even this shall pass away.”  This is not true of Heaven, for it shall endure forever.  Just as God’s Word will never fail, there will never be an end to Heaven.  [I might also add, Hell is also very real, and will last forever and forever for the unrepentant that go there.]
 
What is Heaven?  In short, Heaven is the inheritance of the Saints that is reserved for the undefiled.  Many Southern Gospel music concerts we have here on Earth offer tickets to be sold ahead of time, or one may purchase a ticket at the door.  That will not be true of Heaven, for one must have accepted Christ ahead of time to enter the gates of Glory, and no money will be accepted for entry.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). 
 
HEAVEN is where God has prepared for us a mansion; where God is the Maker, and the Lamb is the light.  Heaven is a sanctuary where forever we will worship God and His Son; where praise to Him will always be heard, and where songs of redemption will always be sung. 
 
HEAVEN is the place where the redeemed will sit down by the river of life, and we’ll rest from our labors.  Heaven is where God and His Son will forever lead us, and where we will always behold His face. 
 
While we rejoice now over the many happy sights and sounds – and many more – that will be found in Heaven, there are other things that will NOT be facing us in Glory.
 
In Heaven, we will NEVER face a presidential election every four years, for there, we will be in the presence of the King of Kings FOREVER.
 
In Heaven, there will be no need for wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or prosthetics.  Where these items were once in use here on Earth, those in Heaven will be observed running all over the streets of gold.  No hearing aids will be found there, and I’ll never have to ask others to repeat something they said.  Oh, and I’ll never lose any eyeglasses in Heaven, for I’ll have no need of them.   I’ll have perfect vision in that Land.
 
In Heaven, there will never be financial worries.  No phone calls from creditors to ignore, and no “FINAL NOTICE” mail to come your way.  You’ll never have need of using another credit or debit card, for all things in Heaven are completely provided –– FOREVER.
 
In Heaven, there will be no need of rehabbing a house “fixer-upper,” for there you’ll have a new mansion.  I can’t wait to see mine! 
 
In Heaven, there’ll be no unkind word spoken, and no feelings to be hurt. 
 
On and on we could go in thought.  There are SO many more things we’ll enjoy in Heaven, while many more irritating and disruptive things will be missing there.  
 
Rowe and Morris add words of the chorus to this featured song by asking, “Won’t it be wonderful there, Having no burden to bear?  Joyously singing with heart-bells all ringing, O, won’t it be wonderful there?”
 
Political promises last only like leaves that fall to the ground in the Autumn.  Election Day 2016 may not turn out as you and I would like, but the ONLY thing that counts is that we look to JESUS at all times.  He has NEVER broken a promise, and He never will. 
 
I remind you once again of the words of Jesus found in John 14:3:  “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” 
 
I, for one, plan on being there to hear my name called, and to see the One who made it all possible:  JESUS.   With ALL elections behind us this Fall, won’t it be wonderful THEN?  And with Heaven in mind, “Won’t It Be Wonderful THERE?”
 
–– Bill
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