I recently returned from another overseas mission trip. I say another because I have been on many similar trips in various countries over the years. I’ve traveled to 16 countries, and I’ve been on every continent except Antarctica.
If it sounds like I’m bragging, I’m not. I tell you that to make a point. I’ve participated in church services in most of those countries. I’ve worshipped in churches that speak Spanish, Swahili, Arabic, and Indonesian. I’ve worshipped with Aborigines in Australia, Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Africans in Tanzania, and Arabs in the Middle East.
In many cases, there is a translator for the spoken part of the service. If I’m speaking, it’s a challenge for the native translators to understand my Southern English! However, during the musical part of the service there is no translation. If lyrics are provided, I try to sing along in the native language even though I don’t really know what I’m singing. Occasionally, I might hear a familiar tune and sing along in English while the locals sing in their tongue.
It’s always a challenge to know exactly what is being sung, but I always know that we are singing praise to God. Every time I attend a church in another land, I get a little taste of heaven. I may not understand the words that the congregation is singing, but I understand the reason for our gathering. I may not understand the prayers in another language, but I know where those prayers are being directed.
Heaven will be full of believers from every corner of the globe. There will be singing in hundreds of languages, and it will be the most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear. It may sound like chaos to you right now, but based on my few experiences worshipping around the world, I believe it will be the most amazing worship experience ever! To be in a large gathering of believers singing in their native language to the Creator of the universe will be a fulfillment of Scripture.
In the apostle John’s revelation he writes,
“I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10).
This passage gives us a taste of what heaven will be like. What a glorious day that will be when all believers gather before our Creator to shout and sing His praises! That will be more than a taste of heaven. It will be an eternal feast!