The Body Is Not The Bride
Hello friends! Lately, I have been thinking about researching the timeline for the end days in revelation, and I've started to think about the concept of the church being the bride of Christ. And as I continued to think on this concept, I realized how ludicrous this concept is as a whole, especially when we think about this in connection to God's character and His thoughts on marriage in general. At first glance, this act of marrying the whole church sounds like a cute symbolism for the level of commitment that God is willing to give to His children. But as one thinks about this beyond that reasoning and considers the real life application of this, it's easy to see that this is not something that is wise to implement.
So in order to showcase how improbable this concept is, let's dive into what it would look like for the entire church to get married to Jesus. It would be Jesus standing at the altar along with literally EVERY Christian that has EVER existed, and every single last one of us committing ourselves to Jesus in a marriage. Literally, every single last one of us would share a husband. Entire families would share a husband. Entire churches would share a husband. And maybe this theoretical marriage with the whole church doesn't have romantic implications from Jesus's end, but the ceremony ALONE could cause lines to be blurred in people's relationship with Jesus. This ceremony would probably cause many people to feel like they would be forced to have a romantic or maybe even sexual attraction to Jesus. And Jesus never forces anybody to do ANYTHING; and making everyone marry Him at the end of age is so unlike Him. And as I continue to say in so many of my posts, God is a God of consent, and He cares very deeply about free will and free choice for all of His followers.
Do not take your wife's sister as one of your wives, as long as your wife is living.
Leviticus 18:18 GNTD
If a man marries a woman and her mother, all three shall be burned to death because of the disgraceful thing they have done; such a thing must not be permitted among you.
Leviticus 20:14 GNTD
So because God is a God of consent, this also brings up the concern of people in the body who are too immature (both in body and in spirit) to be married to Christ. I know that it (hopefully) doesn't have to be said that I don't think that Christ would marry a child; but I personally, also refuse to believe that Christ would want to marry a group of believers that had barely any clue as to who He was. And the church consists of many people of varying degrees of faith. Many people even come to Christ on their deathbeds! And just as (I'm hoping) you (the reader lol) wouldn't want to marry someone who barely knew you, I don't think Christ does either. I think He would want to be with someone who knew Him well and was matured in the faith. Because knowing someone is very important in a relationship, but especially in a committed, marital, everlasting covenant.
There is much we have to say about this matter, but it is hard to explain to you, because you are so slow to understand. There has been enough time for you to be teachers—yet you still need someone to teach you the first lessons of God's message. Instead of eating solid food, you still have to drink milk. Anyone who has to drink milk is still a child, without any experience in the matter of right and wrong. Solid food, on the other hand, is for adults, who through practice are able to distinguish between good and evil.
Hebrews 5:11-14 GNTD
Another reason why I believe that Jesus wouldn't marry the entire church, is that marrying the whole church would require the whole church to not only be at one with Jesus, but it would require us to be at one with each other. Which sounds sweet and beautiful in theory, but this would be impossible to achieve in actuality. Every single Christian that has ever existed from every nation, language, culture, time zone, and time PERIOD coming to agree on one thing is a miracle. And it literally already occurred because we all found Jesus, but beyond that, y'all know VERY WELL that we are not all going to agree on anything else. Most Christians can't even agree on Jesus's character, much less on anything not relating to Him. So this would add to the dysfunction of having billions of people as your spouse.
Another reason why I don't believe that the church is the bride of Christ is that Jesus is not a player. Jesus is literally loyalty in the flesh, and if He wanted to marry someone, He would not then make that promise to multiple people. If a human man can be loyal and chaste and can commit himself to one person, and one person only, for the rest of his life, then I truly believe that the good Lord Jesus possesses the ability to commit to one person and one person only. In 1 Timothy, the bible mentions that leaders of the church must only have one wife and must exhibit great and honorable characteristics in order to serve the church. If you have to have only one spouse just to serve the church as a leader, why wouldn't Jesus be held to not only the same, but a higher standard, as the God that we worship and strive to be like? I refuse to believe that God would hold us to a standard that He Himself could not adhere to, so I believe that the bride of Christ is one person.
This is a true saying: If a man is eager to be a church leader, he desires an excellent work. A church leader must be without fault; he must have only one wife, be sober, self-controlled, and orderly; he must welcome strangers in his home; he must be able to teach; he must not be a drunkard or a violent man, but gentle and peaceful; he must not love money; he must be able to manage his own family well and make his children obey him with all respect. For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God? He must be mature in the faith, so that he will not swell up with pride and be condemned, as the Devil was.
1 Timothy 3:1-6 GNTD
But because there is so much immorality, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband.
1 Corinthians 7:2 GNTD
My reasoning for why I believe that the bride of Christ is one person comes not only from how chaotic it sounds to marry a group of people, but it also stems from how God views marriage as a relationship. Jesus, Himself stated while He was on Earth that when 2 people get married, they unite and become one. And before one immediately jumps to sexual activity or even a marriage ceremony as oneness; God's view of oneness is about relationship building, trust, and intimacy. Being one with someone is not something anyone can achieve in a day, even God. It requires years (or months if you're a lesbian lol jkjk) of opening yourself up to someone and giving your whole heart to someone. It's getting to be so close that you do the same things, and talk in the same way, and are comfortable enough to be completely yourself around that person. It's trusting that person with your life and knowing that they will go the distance for you if push comes to shove. Even if it gets hard, or if people try to stop y'all, or if people think that your love is weird or against the norm. (I'm trying to allude to queerness are you catching it? lol) God wants earthly marriages to be filled with 2 people that come together to form one person. Two whole human beings that compliment each other beautifully and wonderfully. And if Jesus Himself describes marriage in this way, why would He not then want this kind of marriage for Himself? Because remember that in the ORIGINAL plan for marriage that God created, both spouses were considered equal to each other. But it wasn't until sin came into the picture that wives started to have a lower status within a marriage that the church started to adopt as the model relationship, (which it's not; and you can read my post called "Dissecting Biblical Marriage" for more info on that). The bible says that married people should be equally yoked, so I believe that the bride of Christ is one person who is fully matured (in body and in spirit) and has gone through a lifetime of refinement and trials and not only passed them but also captured the heart of the creator along the way.
Jesus answered, “Haven't you read the scripture that says that in the beginning the Creator made people male and female? And God said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.”
Matthew 19:4-6 GNTD
And LASTLY (but certainly not leastly lol) my reasoning for believing that the bride of Christ is one person is by seeing the way Jesus spoke about it while He was on Earth. (Because yall KNOW that I'm gone come through with some word lol) In Mark 12:25 Jesus tells a Sadducee that when the church dies and goes to heaven, each person will be similar to the angels and NOT marry. So if Jesus said that the church WON'T get married in heaven, why does the church claim that they are the bride?
For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry.
Mark 12:25 GNTD
Furthermore, in Mark 2:18-20, when Jesus was asked why his disciples didn't fast, He replied with this:
Jesus answered, “Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to go without food? Of course not! As long as the bridegroom is with them, they will not do that. But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Mark 2:19-20 GNTD
So clearly Jesus refers to the church as GUESTS at a wedding party, and not as the bride. And this can be further backed up by what John the Baptist said in John 3:29.
You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ The bridegroom is the one to whom the bride belongs; but the bridegroom's friend, who stands by and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This is how my own happiness is made complete. He must become more important while I become less important.”
John 3:28-30 GNTD
John refers to himself as the bridegroom's FRIEND, not as the bride himself. He even mentions the bride and says that she belongs to Jesus and not him, so he should decrease so that the actual bridegroom could increase.
Jesus also refers to the Kingdom of God as being a King handing out wedding FEAST invitations to everyone who wants to attend. (Matt 22:1-14) The bible mentions a wedding FEAST but it NEVER mentions a wedding CEREMONY. A reception (or feast) celebrates the couple, but the ceremony is solely about the couple. If the church was actually the bride then the details of the ceremony would have been revealed to us, but they are not because this information is not needed to be known by the church. It's not the church's ceremony, it's Jesus and his wife's ceremony. And the church (or the body) is NOT the bride of Christ.
Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: ‘My feast is ready now; my steers and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!’ But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his store, while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. Then he called his servants and said to them, ‘My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people. “The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ the king asked him. But the man said nothing. Then the king told the servants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.’” And Jesus concluded, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:1-14 GNTD
So to anyone that feels uncomfortable at the thought of marrying God I want you to release those feelings from you and know that you are not marrying him, nor are you forced to do anything in your relationship with God that makes you uncomfortable. The Lord's wife is someone who was chosen by God to be His wife so this person is willing and wants to be with Christ in this way. However, knowing God enough myself, I'm sure that even then, God wouldn't force his wife to marry Him if she didn't want to. As I continue to say God is a God of consent and just like how He gives people the choice in following Him, He would give His wife the choice in marrying Him. So inhale and exhale and know that you are free from this. I'm sure that the bride of Christ already knows who she is and is making herself ready (as the scriptures say) to meet Jesus and have their wedding ceremony together.
But I love only one, and she is as lovely as a dove. She is her mother's only daughter, her mother's favorite child. All women look at her and praise her; queens and concubines sing her praises.
Song of Songs 6:9 GNTD