Michael Hardt

A Look into Heaven

Most Bible readers will have heard a phrase like "A look at the glorified Christ gives strength". Or perhaps "We should occupy ourselves more with Christ in glory". The first reaction for some might be: Isn't that a topic for "aloof ones"? Or for people who spend most of their lives in an armchair? A topic without practical relevance?

The answer is: quite the opposite! It is about strength in everyday life, in crises, in challenges. The best example is Stephen. He was dragged out of the city and stoned. He remains calm, kneels down and prays for his enemies. Where did he get the strength for this? To put it in his own words, "Lo, I behold the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56). The look at the glorified Christ gave Stephen the strength to be faithful, to become the first Christian martyr - and in the process be like Christ.

This raises the question, how is it possible for Christians today to have "Stephen’s gaze"? How is it possible to look into heaven today? What is to be discovered there? And how does one practically get strength from it

At first sight it is actually not quite so easy to recognize this. But the more you are occupied with the subject, the more you not only understand how it works, but you also notice that it works: This look simply brings a very special joy, one understands more and more the Christian position (which is directly related to the "Man in glory") and the riches we possess as Christians.

This little book makes no claim to completeness. There are many other passages that speak of the glorified Christ. But it wants to open the view, it wants to give taste, it wants to motivate (the writer and the reader) to try it out: to dare to look upwards and thus to embark on a journey of discovery that gives joy and spiritual strength.

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