I admit that it sometimes feel weird to think of myself as “the bride of Christ.” Part of this weirdness, no doubt, comes from the fact that I am a male, and therefore have never known what it is like to be a bride in the the Earthly sense.
Nevertheless, we who are born again in Jesus Christ, God’s chosen saints, must remember that our final destiny is to be Christ’s “bride.” We will be united with Christ forever. Of course, this future union with Christ will be very different than earthly marriage in a variety of ways, but it will not be any less real. We must take great care while on Earth to preserve our holiness and grow in love because are final destiny is to be His possession forever:
for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30-32)
The location of this future relationship that we will have with Christ is in the New Jerusalem, a city that God is preparing for His saints. In the book of Revelation this city is referred to as the “wife of the lamb” because this is where the church will dwell for eternity:
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. (Revelation 21:9-10)
This great city will be a city of perfection where there is no sin. I suspect that beauty of this city cannot be adequately described to us or appreciated by us until the day we are transformed from mortality to immortality (See I Corinthians 15:50-54). Nevertheless, John does a good job attempting to explain this city in terms that we as humans can understand:
It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia[c] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits[d] thick.[e] 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f] 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. (John 20:11-21)