How big are the gates of heaven? (what do heaven’s gates look like?)

During my days at theology school, I took a strong interest in how heaven is described and how everything in heaven will look like. Particularly, I was curious about what heaven’s gates will look like. To understand better about the gates of heaven, I visited the nearby catholic and Anglican churches and talked with the father and deacon, who enlightened me with their take on what heaven’s gates will look like. Now that I teach theology classes, the question of heaven’s gates came up, and my students wanted to know how big they are and what they look like. Based on my vast research and what the scriptures say, I answered my students comprehensively. So, how big are the gates of heaven?

The Bible does not explicitly explain how big the gates of heaven are. However, Revelation 21:15-17explains the size of the New Jerusalem that came down out of heaven from God and states that the city measured 12,000 stadia in length, width and height. Given that the gates would be guarding the city, one can deduce that they would be the same height as the city, measuring 12,000 stadia high. 

I invite you to join me in this article as I delve into the topic of heavens gates and answer questions such as the number of gates in heaven, what the gates look like and who guards them. Keep reading to get these answers and more.

How many gates does heaven have?

what do heaven’s gates look like?
How many gates does heaven have? Image source: Pixabay

According to Revelation 21:12, there are 12 gates in heaven. In Revelation 21Apostle John was privileged to witness and report on the heavenly city, described as the Holy City or the New Jerusalem. The city came down out of heaven from God, and it shone with God’s glory. The city’s brilliance was that of precious stones and was clear as crystal. It also had a big wall with twelve gates. Revelation 21:12 states the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. Revelation 21:13 continues to explain that the twelve gates faced every direction of the compass, with three gates on the north, three on the south, three on the west, and three on the east.

What are the 12 Gates in Heaven described in the book of Revelation?

The scriptures in Revelation 21:10-12 explain that the 12 gates are the entrance of the Holy City or the New Jerusalem. An angel showed Apostle John the Holy City, which he described as the bride or the wife of the lamb in Revelation 21:9. Three gates face every direction of the compass and Revelation 21:25 states that the gates will never be closed, and this perpetual openness may imply an invite for everyone to partake of the goodness of God’s love and grace.

What do the gates of heaven look like?

According to Revelation 21:21, the gates of heaven were twelve pearls, with each gate being made from one pearl. The verse also explains that the streets of the Holy City were made of pure gold that was as transparent as glass. This shows that the gates, as well as the city, are miraculous and exquisite in their construction. Revelation 21:12 also explains that the names of the twelve Israel tribes were written on each gate. And contrary to the popular belief that the gates of heaven will be used to lock out sinners by barring the entrance, Revelation 21:25 explains the gates will remain open, and there will be no night in the Holy City. Additionally, Revelation 21:26-27 explains that only the pure people, whose names are written on the Book of Life, will go through the gates of heaven, and those who do deceitful and shameful things will not enter the city.

Who guards the gates of heaven?

How big are the gates of heaven?
Who guards the gates of heaven? Image source: Pixabay

According to Revelation 21:12, twelve angels guard the gates of heaven . Apostle John, in this verse, explains how the city had a big wall, twelve gates and twelve angels at the gate. However, in Matthew 16:17-20, we see Jesus telling Simon Peter that he would give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, one can deduce that Peter, together with the angels, guards the gates of heaven.

Why are heaven gates called pearly gates?

Revelation 21:21 explains that the twelve gates were made of pearl, with every gate being made with one pearl; thus, why they are called pearly gates. As one of the bible commentators pointed out, pearls are esteemed as one of the greatest gemstones and are a representation of the highest truth. Pearls are very unique as they are the only gem material found in a living thing, and they do not need polishing or cutting like other gemstones. Thus, one can conclude that heaven gates are called pearly gates since they are made from pearls and as an emblem of the truth, only the pure in heart will go through the pearly gates.

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