The image of the gates in popular culture is a set of large, white or wrought-iron gates in the clouds, guarded by Saint Peter (the keeper of the "keys to the kingdom"). Those not fit to enter heaven are denied entrance at the gates, and descend into Hell. In some versions of this imagery, Peter looks up the deceased's name in a book, before opening the gate.
^Ferguson, Everett (1996). The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 53. ISBN9780802841896. The passage moves from a building, to gates, to keys. A popular image has Peter as the doorkeeper of heaven, deciding admission through the pearly gates to each person at death. This understanding of Peter goes back to an early medieval interpretation that identified Peter with a figure in Germanic mythology who was the porter of heaven.