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57 Songs About Heaven | Messages | Churchisonline.com

by Brett McCracken
Forsake Your Favorite Excuse

I grew up thinking (and singing) a lot about heaven. The little Baptist churches that reared me—in Oklahoma and Kansas—made much of the “sweet by and by.” Later in life, for a season in my 20s, I convinced myself that too much thinking about heaven was somehow bad. All those old songs and sermons about heaven were quaint comforts but theologically unsophisticated and perhaps counterproductive. If we think too much about heaven, I reasoned, wouldn’t that make us apathetic about our task on earth? Wouldn’t it render the glorious beauty of this world, and the dignity of the work we’ve been called to, less glorious and less dignified?

I no longer think that. As I’ve matured in life and faith, I agree more and more with C. S. Lewis, who famously observed, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. . . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

Contemplating heaven, singing about it, longing for it. . . . These are good things. To be oriented around the eternal is to be more joyful in the temporal. Ironically, we’re most productive and satisfied when we see ourselves as pilgrims here, with heaven our true and permanent home. This perspective also provides ballast and endurance in seasons of suffering or contexts of oppression. In highly comfortable, privileged places it can be easy to think less of heaven. But for those in pain or those experiencing injustice, the thought of heaven is a necessary balm.

Our worst moments on earth should inflame our hearts with hunger for heaven. But so should our best moments. The most piercing, powerful experiences of beauty, goodness, and truth in this life are but echoes and flickers of heaven, after all. “They are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited,” Lewis writes.

Our worst moments on earth should inflame our hearts with hunger for heaven. But so should our best moments.

So let us live in that spirit, embracing the beauty of this world, not in spite of our eyes being fixed on heaven but because of it.

One way we can do that is by filling our ears with music that tunes our hearts to a heavenly key. There are countless songs that are directly or indirectly about heaven, but the following are 57 of my favorites.

I put them together as a playlist on Spotify and Apple Music, and you can see the song list below.

In times good and bad, may these songs stir your soul to long for heaven, with gratitude for the future Christ secured for us: “An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Pet. 1:4)

Playlist Songs

1. “On That Day,” CityAlight

2. “One Day,” Cochren & Co.

3. “One Day (When We All Get to Heaven),” Matt Redman

4. “What a Day,” Phil Keaggy

5. “O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines,” Claire Holley

6. “In That Great Gettin’ Up Mornin’,” Harry Belafonte

7. “Almost Home,” Matt Boswell, Matt Papa

8. “Soon and Very Soon,” Andrae Crouch

9. “If I Get to Heaven,” John Van Deusen

10. “Pilgrim,” John Mark McMillan

11. “The High Countries,” Caedmon’s Call

12. “After the Last Tear Falls,” Andrew Peterson

13. “Until These Tears Are Gone,” Young Oceans, Harvest

14. “Where the Streets Have No Name,” U2

15. “Heaven Song,” Phil Wickham

16. “Revelation 22:20–21,” The Corner Room

17. “Acquired in Heaven,” Beautiful Eulogy, Josh White

18. “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Josh Groban, Lili Haydn

19. “When We See Your Face (Live),” Sovereign Grace Music

20. “Heaven Is in Our Sights,” Citizens, Shea Salisbury

21. “Dreaming of Eden,” Tenielle Neda

22. “Into the West,” Annie Lennox

23. “Paradise,” The Gray Havens

24. “In Paradise,” Rachel Wilhelm

25. “In Paradisum (Requiem, Op. 48: VIII),” Gabriel Fauré

26. “Eternity,” Joshua Leventhal

27. “The Holy City,” Mahalia Jackson

28. “New Jerusalem,” Vertical Worship, Jon Guerra

29. “Revelation Song (Live),” REVERE, Citizens, Mission House

30. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” Ghost Ship

31. “When We All Get to Heaven,” Clara Ward

32. “We Will Feast in the House of Zion,” Sandra McCracken

33. “Milky White Way,” Elvis Presley

34. “Gold,” Mixtape for the Milky Way

35. “See You Again,” The Gray Havens

36. “Meet Me In Heaven,” Johnny Cash

37. “Heaven Is My Home,” The Soul Stirrers

38. “Sing Me to Heaven,” Daniel E. Gawthrop

39. “Great Rejoicing,” Thad Cockrell

40. “There Will Be a Day (Isaiah 2),” Caroline Cobb

41. “A Place Called Earth,” Jon Foreman, Lauren Daigle

42. “No Night There,” Mahalia Jackson

43. “Behold,” Mission House

44. “In the Sweet By and By,” Dolly Parton

45. “On Heaven’s Bright Shore,” Alison Krauss and Union Station

46. “Hymn of Heaven,” Phil Wickham

47. “Face to Face,” Zach Williams

48. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” Sam Cooke

49. “Hope,” James Newton Howard

50. “O Day of Peace,” Josh Garrels

51. “Forever with the Lord,” Songs of Grace

52. “When We All Get to Heaven,” Casting Crowns

53. “There Is a Higher Throne,” Keith and Kristyn Getty

54. “All Hail the King of Heaven,” Matt Boswell, Matt Papa

55. “Revelation 19:1,” Sunday Service Choir

56. “Is He Worthy?,” Andrew Peterson

57. “Worthy Is the Lamb . . . Amen (The Messiah),” George Frideric Handel

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