As I write this, it is the anniversary of the death of my maternal grandfather. My mother told me that during the last few days of his life, he was able to see two angelic beings by his bed. He described them as two strong young men. In the last hours of his life, the heavenly realm seemed to be superimposed on the earthly realm.
Why would God do this? For believers in Jesus, this kind of thing gives people hope, peace and encouragement as they go through the dying process. Their earthly life is ending, but there is coming another world that is beyond their imagination.
Stephen Sees into the Heavenly Realm
Stephen, in our story, had a similar experience. Acts 7:54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” 57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him 58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.
Although only Stephen could see this vision, God was reminding the court that eternity is real. We can be assured that Christ is waiting to welcome us into Heaven. He alone is our hope, because by His death on the cross, He paid the price for our sins. And by His resurrection from the dead, He conquered death, hell, and satan.
Heaven and Us
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9 about the wonders and hope of heaven for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 
To hear more of the story of Stephen, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/hope-when-life-is-threatened
[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.