“He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:12, 15–17, NIV 1984).
“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9–11, NIV 1984).
My Musings – It is hard to imagine this happening, especially in a country such as the United States where the Constitution required the Bill of Rights before it could be ratified. But when borders can no longer be controlled, plagues cannot be contained and there is not enough food to feed the populace (not just a distribution or money problem), perhaps it’s not that far-fetched at all. And if it comes progressively in small doses over time, maybe this “last straw” won’t be seen as all that radical. That’s basically how freedom’s are ultimately lost, and this prophecy will certainly happen. Maybe not soon, but the “writing’s on the wall.” Take for instance —
Point – “Right now, I’m being impinged on by people who say, ‘I don’t want to get vaccinated.’ It’s fine. I want them to maybe have a limitation on where they can go and who they can possibly infect.” (Kathleen Sebelius, former Secretary of Health and Human Services).
Counterpoint – “It would be wrong to engage in coercive tactics to force people to get vaccinated or to bring about issuance of vaccine passports to keep the unvaccinated away from workplaces or children.” (Jeff Colyer, candidate for Kansas Governor).
In this instance, I am not saying which one is right and which one is wrong. Perhaps it is a healthy debate, particularly if more and more people die. After all, no false worship is involved as there will be with the mark. But the camel’s nose is under the tent. One day it will be inside.
My Advice – Let’s not get carried away, but let’s also “keep our heads in all situations” and be aware. The end will eventually come, and when it does, the above debate will likely seem quite trivial. In the meantime, let’s “do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of [our] ministry.“