Q. At The Rapture, the living as well as the dead in Christ will be raised – the dead in Christ have been with Him since they were absent from their bodies, will they also be a part of The Bride? And, because all children under the age of accountability will also be Raptured, will these children also be a part of The Bride? Jesus’ references to a wedding feast and the wedding guests – there is definitely a distinction between the Bride and Groom and the wedding guests. Who are the wedding guests? In The Old Testament God speaks of Israel as His wife – how does this differ from Jesus and His Bride?
A. Every believer from Pentecost to the Rapture is part of the Bride of Christ. The Bride also includes children, both born and pre-born. There is no minimum age. Since the wedding will take place in heaven the guests will be Old Testament believers. Remember John the Baptist, who was not in the Church but the last of the prophets, called himself a friend of the groom (John 3:29-30). That makes him one of the wedding guests.
The idea of the adulterous wife of Jehovah as highlighted in the Book of Hosea contrasts with the virgin bride of Christ. The former symbolizes Israel and the latter the Church. It’s meant to show that the destinies of Israel and the Church are separate and distinct. The Bible promises that God will dwell forever with Israel in the Promised land and that the Church will live forever with Jesus in Heaven, or more accurately the New Jerusalem. Both these promises come true. It’s a clear statement that Israel is not the Church, nor is the Church Israel.