The church is often said to be "the wife of Christ." We even sing this in our songs. But it seems to me that the New Jerusalem (after Judgment Day) is the actual bride of Christ (Revelation 21:2, 9-10), and that we are the guests of the bridegroom, Jesus (John 3:29, Luke 5:34-35, etc). Scriptures like Ephesians 5:32-33 just tell us men to love our wife as Christ loved the Church, but it doesn't actually say that Jesus is the husband of the church. (See also the similar line of thought in Isaiah 62:5). -- Sigmund Baroe (Oslo)

That is a good observation. I might compare the church to Mary in the early chapters of Matthew, who is betrothed to Joseph. Betrothed is a stronger word than engaged, since to break it off would entail divorce. And yet the church is not quite married to Christ--at least not until the final consummation which Revelation alludes to. Christ is the groom, and the church, the bride, and this is matrimonial language. The wedding is yet to take place.

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