The first belief states that the church as a whole is the bride of Christ, This theology comes about from scriptures like (2nd Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27,Isaiah 54:5, and Revelation 19:7-9) to name a few.
The second belief states that the bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem also know as the Tabernacle of God, the Holy City, the City of God, and the Celestial City. A few scriptures that support this belief are (Hebrews 13:14, Revelation 19:7, Revelation 21:1-4, 21:9-10).
In fact, I believe both sides of this debate to be correct. Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18) and we “Christians” are the body (Colossians 1:24). Herein lies the very obvious deduction: Since Jesus is the head of the body (Christians) we can not be the actual bride; but, we can be a part of the bride. In as much that we are a part of the wedding. That partnership with the New Heaven (Bride) which is made up of the church body (Christians) and a tangible new Heaven (Revelation 21:10-27).
Now that all of the proof or facts have been laid out before you, it is relevant to see that both sides are indeed correct. We are an essential part of the Brand new Eternal Heaven which is the true bride.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why God even needs a brand new Heaven, let alone a “virgin” bride?
Since God is pure and Holy (Leviticus 19:2) he can only marry, unify, or conjoin with that which is perfect. The current Heaven and church body is defiled. Satan comes and goes in and out of Heaven accusing us (Revelation 12:10). Not to mention that this is the very place of which this whole battle of good and evil began. The revolt of Satan which lead to him and a third of the angels to be cast out of the current Heaven (Revelation 12:3-9).
We the Church are also in need of a “makeover” for the wedding as described in (Isaiah 1:18) where our sins are made white as snow. (Isaiah 61:10) foreshadows our white garments of salvation and the joy of our souls with the “makeover” of both bride and bridegroom and the accoutrements of ornaments and jewels.
The virgin that Jesus (God) marries is the brand new pure undefiled forever and everlasting new Heaven filled with the church body (Christian Saints), an eternal God and eternal life. (John 14:2-4) says that a place is “being” prepared for us, this is that consummation where there is a future Marriage Made in Heaven.