The symbol of a marriage is applied to the union between Christ and the body of overcoming believers. The Bible refers to these overcoming saints as the “bride, the "Church of the living God", the "Little Flock", " the First-fruits", "the Firstborn", " a Royal Priesthood", "the Elect", "the Called, Chosen and Faithful”, the "Saints", "the Anointed", "Living Stones", and "the Lamb's wife", among other titles.
The purpose of preparing a bride for marriage to Christ is to bless mankind in the Kingdom of God. “And I John saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband … and God (through Christ and His bride) shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” This bride is a "help-mate" to assist Jesus in this great work of bringing all mankind back into harmony with God during the resurrection.
In the Old Testament, the opportunity of betrothal was offered to the nation of Israel – "I will betroth you to me forever… in righteousness and justice… in loving kindness and mercy…in faithfulness and you shall know the LORD" (Hosea 2:19-20). All they had to do was to be faithful and obey.
John 3: 29 announced the arrival of the bridegroom, Jesus. Our Lord promised his betrothed that "In My Father's house are many dwelling places… I go to prepare a place for you… I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:2, 3).
When Israel did not recognize the bridegroom Messiah, the opportunity to become the bride of Christ was opened to the gentiles. 2 Corinthians 11:2 and Ephesians 5:24-27 described Paul's hopes for the church-bride "… for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present
During this present life, the betrothed church is encouraged to develop all of the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. (Galatians 5:22, 23) They are to bear each other in love in Ephesians 4. When the marriage takes place, the bride, the overcoming saints, is rewarded with the divine nature, “…ye might be partakers of the divine nature…” 2 Peter 1:4. Then there will be a time of great rejoicing in heaven, “…the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Revelation 19:6,7