Nothing is ‘overrated’ about the afterlife

Commentary

Ask any Buffalo Bills’ fan and they will tell you that winning the Super Bowl is overrated. Yeah, right. You would have to care nothing about football or be the most non-Bills fan on the planet to overrate a Super Bowl win.

I read a spurious statement about heaven being “overrated” (May 1). That assessment indicates a disoriented soul untethered to eternal truth and a person who is ho-hum about eternal life. Stuck in that perspective, the incredible realities above and beyond this life are lost.

Given the description in the Word of God, heaven will be an absorbing experience of breathlessly beholding the reality of transcendence. It will be make the Notre Dame Cathedral (even after its refurbishing) look like a shabby shanty-town shack in comparison to the brilliant unparalleled presence of Jesus in all His glory being himself the temple in heaven. Match that! I can’t begin to describe it.

Yet, I sense it in sacred music like Faure’s Sanctus and Paradisum. The moods, sounds and lyrics soar high into the echelon of holiness and sacredness pointing to realities transcending the mundane existence on earth. This taste for transcendence doesn’t happen overnight. Growing in the knowledge of the exalted God on High develops a thirst for transcendence which only heaven can quench. C.S. Lewis said, “I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

This other world of which Lewis speaks is not a mere upgrade. Upgrade is a pathetic description of a stupendous everlasting experience of the highest order. The term that best describes what I’m talking about is glorification.

It will utterly transform our sin-wrecked souls and our woefully weak bodies. Christ came to redeem them both and sanctify them to a future glorified state. It’s an abstract concept now, but the glorious resurrected state of Christ will likewise be ours in the life to come. How can you overrate that? Such a state of glory is so grand that the seraphim in heaven never tire in saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy” to God Almighty. That’s off the charts, but when unparalleled transcendence and glorification exquisitely combine in heaven, it explodes all limitations and concepts of finite upgrades altogether.

This brings us to the spellbinding mystery of heaven. The Apostle Paul spoke of things he was not even permitted to speak. He had a preview of heaven too overwhelming for mere mortals to comprehend. It’s impossible for us to take it all in. Could there be features, dimensions and colors we know nothing about? When you read in Revelation about the perfection, beauty and exactness of structures, scenery and sound, you come away with something far greater and more profound than earthly concepts could ever equal.

The mystery beheld will result in gratifying understanding and fulfilling experience. Moreover, I can’t even begin to describe what it will be like when all that is vile, immoral, and fallen in this life will be completely negated. Thankfully, however, the mystery of entrance into heaven is no secret: saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I can understand why people feel great about anticipating loved ones there, but it pales in comparison of meeting up with God in three persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Heaven is not overrated. It’s underrated. It’s like what C.S. Lewis said about the boy passing up the invitation to make jaw-dropping sand castles on a pristine sparkling beach preferring instead to remain plopped down on a dirty street corner making sloppy mud pies from gross-looking mud puddles.

Mel McGinnis is a Frewsburg resident.

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