Another Halloween is coming soon. What could be more timely than answering questions about the mark of the beast? The mark has been a hot topic this past year in the fallout of COVID-19. Many Christians fear they could make a mistake and lose their salvation. Can Christians receive the mark of the beast?
Revelation is a weird book. Many interpretations, such as pre-tribulation or preterist views, would make the mark of the beast irrelevant for modern Christians. For more on what the mark is, see Drew’s post. To this particular question, though, I believe that the answer is no. At the very least, if Christians can, it is not irreversible. Here’s why I think that.
Scripture Would be Clearer
The mark of the beast comes up in a small portion of a single chapter in one of the most difficult books of the Bible to interpret. Generally speaking, scripture is clear where it needs to be. God gave us enough to know a little bit about the mark, but very little detail. If this were such a huge deal that we could be tricked and lose our salvation from it, God would have told us more about it. The most plausible explanation is that it is either something Christians will not need to be concerned about, or it will be so obvious when it comes that we can’t mistake it.
Are You Worshiping the Antichrist?
It might sound silly and obvious, but I wish people would ask themselves this question before worrying about this. “Does taking/using this somehow involve me worshipping or swearing loyalty to Satan or the Antichrist?” If not, the chances are good that it’s not the mark of the beast. Yes, Revelation says people will not be able to buy or sell without the mark. Consider why that is.
As much as some conspiracy theorists may try to say so, taking the COVID-19 vaccine is not equivalent to swearing loyalty to Joe Biden or Pfizer. Having a social security number is not abandoning Christ for the government. These things don’t have a religious connotation. There may be other reasons to not participate in certain trends or technologies, but unless it somehow relates to you being a Christian or not worshipping the antichrist, I don’t see a correlation to the mark of the beast.
There’s only 1 Unforgivable Sin
Jesus said that the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the holy spirit. Essentially, a continual rejection of God and his forgiveness is the only sin that God cannot forgive. Even someone who does that can still be forgiven if they cease their rejection and turn to Jesus.
What does this have to do with the mark of the beast? If what Paul said is true in Romans 8 is true, nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God. Maybe there will be Christians who accept the mark. I see no reason to think they could not also reject the mark and return to Christ. If you trust in Jesus for your salvation, you’re not going to lose that accidentally. Not even the Devil has that power.
So be on the lookout, keep an open mind, and fear not. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.