We have been born of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23) with an incorruptible life to participate in New Jerusalem. In this divine-human city there is no physical gold, which is corruptible (1 Peter 1:18-19).
This is another strong indication that physical gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones will not be in New Jerusalem. It is a city of the uncreated, divine, eternal life, so nothing perishable matches New Jerusalem and perishable things cannot and will not be in it.
The last part of 1 Corinthians 9 uses the metaphor of those who run in a race. Paul says that we, like them, should run the Christian “race” and like them “exercise self-control in all things.” He reminds us that they exercise “that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we, an incorruptible” (1 Cor. 9:25).
We are not running to gain riches or fame or any other corruptible crown in this earthly life. We run, we exercise to gain “the crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:8), “the crown of life” (James 1:12), “the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).
First Corinthians 15:54 has the marvelous promise, “When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, ‘Death has been swallowed up unto victory.'” This will first be fulfilled when the Lord Jesus returns visibly and even more when New Jerusalem appears visibly.
These verses show that New Jerusalem is incorruptible, not perishing, and unfading; let us pursue toward this goal!