Matthew 25:4 says, “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear,” while 2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.” The Bible repeatedly tells us that this world is not our home; our time here on earth will eventually end. And as dismal as this topic is, the question I’m sure we all want to know the answer to, is how does this happen??
Revelation gives us an understanding of some of these End of the World happenings. While I am no expert, nor do I claim to be (I’m just a regular Bible reader like you trying to make sense of it all), I can see from Revelation 14 that after the rapture (where Christ comes again to earth whisk away his believers), those who are left on earth will have a choice to make—either to take the Mark of the Beast or choose to serve God. Verses 9-13 say:
9 Then a third angel followed them, shouting, “Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand 10 must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.” 12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!
What is the Mark of the Beast?
No one is sure of what it will look like but the Bible says it will be a mark on the right hand or forehead that all will be required to take after the rapture. The mark is either the name of the beast or the number 666 which is a representation of his name.
What does it do?
- It is used to buy and sell everything
- It establishes a person as a servant of the Beast (Satan)
- It provides security from persecution and ridicule
- It angers God
- It leads to eternal torment of the soul by fire and burning sulfur, with no option of relief (Hell)
What is choosing to serve the Lord?
In this time, serving the Lord will be the most unpopular decision. It is making a conscious decision to serve God and live by His commandments even after His spirit has left the Earth.
What does choosing to serve the Lord do?
- It establishes one as a servant of God, and thus an enemy of Satan and those that have taken the mark
- It results in great persecution by the enemy
- It most likely ends in death as a result of religious persecution
- It leads to eternal life and rest with Jesus Christ in Heaven
While taking the Mark of the Beast sounds as if it may be beneficial, it leads to an eternity in Hell, and while choosing to serve God seems to be detrimental, it leads to an eternity with God. Remember that this will only become a hard decision for those that are left on earth AFTER the trumpet sounds and God’s people are taken up to Heaven, so we have to do what we need to do BEFORE that trumpet sounds. Allow God, to drive your will right now! Live righteously and by His word while you can so that you never have to decide between pledging your allegiance to God or to the Beast. Now, we all know what lies ahead should we miss the rapture. As for me, I’ve already made up my mind that NOTHING can separate me from Christ!
Prayer: Dear God, I thank you for your mercy and grace that have given us the opportunity to serve you today, and for the promise that we have of a chance to serve you eternally in Heaven. I also want to thank you for giving us your word, allowing us to grow in biblical knowledge, and revealing your plans to end this earth so that we know what we need to do. I pray for the future of our souls. I pray that we ALL will take up your invitation to serve you while we have a chance. I pray that we realize that the living for you is not a game, that worship is not a hobby, and that Heaven and Hell are not fiction. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31