This edition of The Lookout, the second of two issues highlighting the supremacy of Christ in all of Scripture, contains practical, biblical teaching on the Christian doctrines of justification, redemption, and sanctification. The final study text in the issue focuses on Heaven, the Christian’s hope.
Knowing what the Bible teaches about Heaven does two significant things for the believer: it sharpens our focus on the great and final promise of God and it guides our thoughts and actions in this world as we live in anticipation of the world to come.
Theologian and author J. I. Packer wrote,
We cannot visualize Heaven’s life and the wise man will not try to do so. Instead he will dwell on the doctrine of Heaven, where the redeemed will find all their heart’s desire: joy with their Lord, joy with his people, and joy in the ending of all frustration and distress and in the supply of all wants. What was said to the child—“If you want sweets and hamsters in Heaven, they’ll be there”—was not an evasion but a witness to the truth that in Heaven no felt needs or longings go unsatisfied. What our wants will actually be, however, we hardly know, except the first and foremost: we shall want to be “always . . . with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, ESV).
Three centuries earlier the Puritan minister Richard Baxter wrote about the joys of Heaven. Baxter was born in London, England in 1615. He entered the ministry at the age of 26 and spent his early years as an army chaplain. Later he spent 14 years (1647-1661) ministering in the English community of Kidderminster.
Baxter was a chronically sick man. He contracted tuberculosis in his teens and suffered throughout his life from a myriad of physical ailments. Despite his limitations, Baxter poured himself into the church and the community. By the time he concluded his ministry in Kidderminster he had evangelized nearly the entire town of more than 2,000 adults. Baxter was a prolific writer as well.
Maybe you’re wondering what kept a man like that going. He most likely dealt with significant pain every day of his adult life. Baxter reveled his secret in his book, The Saint’s Everlasting Rest. From the time he was 30 years old (and believing he was near death because of his severe health problems) Baxter began meditating for half an hour each day on the life to come—on Heaven.
His daily meditations led to a longing for Heaven and a passion to bring others with him into his heavenly inheritance. His perspective on Heaven is expressed in these simple lines:
My knowledge of that life is small,
The eye of faith is dim,
But it’s enough that Christ knows all,
And I shall be with him.
Helping Families Study God’s Word Together
With the introduction of our new scope and sequence for Bible study we’re introducing several new features designed to help integrate The Lookout into congregational worship and family life.
For the Church
We’re making materials available online (lookoutmag.com) to help connect the weekly study in The Lookout to the weekly worship of the church. Look for:
- PowerPoint slides highlighting the current week’s study text, aim, and memory verse
- PowerPoint announcements and bulletin inserts that promote the current study
For the Family
- Printables and graphics for family devotions, study, and Scripture memorization
- Printable memory cards for kids
- Screensavers, phone wallpapers, and social media graphics
- Worksheets for kids with coloring pages, simple lessons, and memory verses
In the Future
- Seasonal supplements
- Printable items like ornaments, advent calendars, and bookmarks
- Calendars that connect with daily readings and weekly study topics
All materials will be offered at no cost to churches and families who subscribe to The Lookout and can be used in children’s ministry, women’s and men’s ministries, and in family study.