No one in their right mind wants to take the mark of the beast, but with all the theories of who the antichrist is, and what the mark of the beast is, how can we be sure that we don’t take it by innocent error? I’ve heard moderately convincing arguments that the antichrist/beast is Prince Charles, the papacy, and Islam, among others. I’ve heard reasonable people try to explain that the mark of the beast is bar codes on grocery items, social security numbers, and chips embedded into our hands. For fun, I typed “what is the mark of the beast” into Google and got over two million hits. “Who is the antichrist” produced well over a million hits. I’m not recommending the use of Google to determine Biblical truths, only using that to show how many different ideas there are.
No doubt about it, Scripture is clear that many frightening events will occur in the last days of this earth’s history. Wars, earthquakes, pestilence, famine, and other events are foretold, which most reasonable people would anticipate with trepidation. We’re told that in the end, “men’s hearts will be failing them for fear” (Luke 21:26). Yet we are repeatedly told not to fear. In fact, those who are fearful are first on a list of those who will die the second death of the lake of fire, lumped in with murderers, idolaters, and liars! (Revelation 21:8) How is it that fear can be considered such a sin?
Mankind has been asking the same question for centuries or more. How long will these things be? When will be the time of the end? Asking “how long” or “when” is a common event in Scripture. David asked how long in Psalm 6:3. Isaiah asked how long in Isaiah 6:11. Habakkuk asked how long in Habakkuk 1:2. The disciples asked Yahshua (Jesus) when in Matthew 24:3. The saints at the end of time ask God how long in Revelation 6:10. More examples could be given.
Ephesians 4:4-6 tells us that there is one body of believers, one Spirit of God, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. Yet too many people seem to believe that there are two bodies of believers (Jewish from the Old Testament and Christian from the New Testament) and two Gods (one of laws from the Old Testament and one of grace from the New Testament). Nothing could be further from the truth.