For two years I was privileged to study on the island of Grenada. One of the most incredible experience I had on the island, was my time spent with the Christian Student’s Association - Church on Campus. Each semester they would have a multicultural praise night and it felt like a glimpse of what heaven would be like.
For one night each semester the students would gather to celebrate their culture while praising God. I was in awe, when I watched The Koreans, the Africans, the Hispanics, the Caribbean group and the other groups from the States – Country and Western and Modern, among others. Each group sang in their language and in their own style but the one thing they had in common was the word Hallelujah.
No matter the song, or the language you could recognize the Hallelujah. In Revelation chapter 7 verses 9 to 10, it says, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
A picture of heaven
This is what I picture heaven to be. People from different nations, and tribes and languages worshipping God, like I got to experience back in Grenada. I didn’t need to understand everything that was being sung, but I felt the common spirit in that room, and it was a beautiful experience. This is an experience that I will always cherish and never forget because it really does make me yearn for heaven.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s our view of heaven why people become so nonchalant about trying to get there. So often, we joke about being able to do the regular things like drinking and partying in heaven - and if that’s the case I can see the lack of appeal for heaven. Why live holy now when all we are going to be doing is drinking and reveling for eternity?
I get that, but I don’t see heaven that way. Best believe though, if my robe has enough room, I will be “chipping” down the streets of gold as the gospel soca music is pumping. But aside from the music, I always imagine being among the Bible heroes and hearing the rest of their story that was not recorded in the Bible.
Meeting Bible heroes
I want to know the details of what happened as Abraham waited for his promise, or how David spent his days as a Shepherd, or what Jesus was like between ages 12-30. I want to hear the rest of Jabez’s story, I want to know what Mary was like before the encounter with the angel, and I want to learn about the great mysteries of this universe. These are the things that get me excited about heaven. I also look forward to meeting with some of the great Christians of our lifetime and of course our loved ones who have passed on.
It does sadden me though that not everyone will go to heaven, but we can make a decision to get on that path because I’m sure it is going to be a ball! I wish everyone would end up in heaven and experience this awesome worship and rest that is promised to all who believe and are saved.
Just picture a time when there is no need for tears, no need to fear, no exhaustion and the best worship experienced you have ever had, multiplied over and over again, with everyone you love – just imagine. To me, this is what heaven is and I can’t wait. To be a part of a multitude of people from every nation, and tribe and language, sharing a common hallelujah.
Ashea West is a third-year medical student from Manchester, Jamaica studying in the USA. I am passionate about sharing the gospel, using whatever opportunities I am given. I do believe in blooming wherever I am transplanted.