Key Bible Verses: The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:21-22)
First Corinthians 2:9-10 declares, "'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'"—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God" (ESV).
No man has seen the final heaven, yet God's Spirit has given us enough prophetic and symbolic foretastes to be able to long for it. How would the Spirit make glimpses of heaven known? On the pages of Scripture. The Bible contains enough clear glimpses, apocalyptic visions, and heavy hints about the final heaven that we are not entirely clueless.
[Still,] symbolic pictures in the Bible cause us problems because we are always forgetting they are figures of speech, not the reality itself. The jeweled symbolism of the new earth that includes streets of gold and gates of pearl are poetic metaphors meant to emphasize dazzling splendor and the incalculable value of heaven.
God has not left us clueless—yet heavenly wonders awaiting us are multidimensional. Now we know only by suggestion or inference what will be fully revealed (1 Cor. 13:12).
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