“I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Are our hearts set upon God having that which is wholly of Himself? That means ‘I’ crucified! No longer I, but Christ! And that means that Christ in us is the basis of our conformity to His image, until we partake with Him of His own nature pure gold. It is something to face seriously before Him. It brings to us a challenge, but surely it also brings to us a glorious possibility! What Christ is can be made good in us!
This is what God is doing in the groaning creation. It does not appear to be so, for, to all appearances the ‘fullness’ seems to be evil. Do you remember a very illuminating phrase in Genesis 15:16: “The iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full”? The context shows that Israel’s exodus and occupation of the Promised Land waited upon the Amorite’s full cup of iniquity. “Amorite” is a representative name for all the nations then occupying the land. When that cup of iniquity was full, God emancipated Israel. The exodus synchronized with a condition in the world. The filling of the land with what was of God required the enemy’s extension of his evil nature to its limit; then God acted.
The end time will be marked by ‘iniquity abounding’. The rapture of the Church will take place as its exodus when “the man of sin is revealed”, when the cup of iniquity is full. We are living at a time when there is a positive landslide of moral iniquity. It is called ‘the new morality’, but it is not morality at all, it is ‘non morality’.
If this is true of such a fragment of the world, what of the whole world situation? God is taking account of this. He is causing the simple facts of His salvation to be made known on a scale unprecedented in the world’s history, and when the whole world has had its opportunity, “then shall the end come”.