The last two years have been unlike any I have ever experienced. While last year's fires and this year's floods have impacted Miss Linda and I, the thing that has impacted us the most has been the COVID-19 virus. Things we took for granted have been taken from us and, in some ways, our lives have been forever changed by this insidious pathogen.
I have never seen anything create such raging debate. Everyone has an opinion about the origin of the virus, the mandatory shutdown of some businesses, use of masks and, most recently, the efficacy of the vaccine and mandatory requirements to get it or lose your job. I shall not comment on these individually because what I have to say would only be my opinion and that is probably not worth much. Instead, I want to look at the issues as a whole and try to show you how all this may fit into Bible prophecy. I will start by referencing a very familiar portion of Scripture.
Revelation 13:16-17 (TLB):
"He required everyone—great and small, rich and poor, slave and free—to be tattooed with a certain mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could get a job or even buy in any store without the permit of that mark, which was either the name of the Creature or the code number of his name."
For many years, I wondered how this could ever be possible. Wouldn't people rise up and refuse to allow such a draconian violation of their freedoms? It seems like something out of a cheap B-grade movie, something totally futuristic and unreal. Yet what we are seeing today seems eerily similar in so many ways. At the time of this writing, President Joe Biden has just announced that he is considering mandating that all domestic travelers get vaccinated before being allowed to board an airplane. Already some nations are requiring travelers to get vaccinated before entering their country. Some hospitals are requiring their staff to get vaccinated and some sports coaches have lost their jobs for refusing to get vaccinated. Now take this paragraph and everywhere you see the words "get vaccinated," replace it with "take the mark." I think I have illustrated just how easily Revelation 13:16-17 could happen!
I want to make it very clear that I am not suggesting that the COVID-19 vaccine is the mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation 13. Such an idea is totally ludicrous. What I am saying is that I believe we are being groomed to accept the idea that for our safety and well-being, we must do whatever the government tells us.
I can promise you that at some point in the future, a new threat to all humanity will arise and with it will come new measures, which we will be told must be followed to avoid mass extinction. Terrified people will do whatever they are told. When I look at what we have experienced in the last two years, I can plainly see how easy it will be for the antichrist to get people to take the mark or be ostracized and labeled as troublemakers who are terrible threats to the rest of society. I can't help but wonder if we might be the Revelation 13 generation?
All this can be very frightening unless we keep our eyes on the promise of Jesus' return. He is coming back and you should never doubt it. Everything we see happening today shouts to us that His return is getting very close and if we are wise, we will prepare our hearts for His coming.
John Stocker and his wife Linda were the pastors of Resurrection Fellowship Church in Loveland, Colorado for 32 years. During that time, the church grew to over 3000 attendees. They are now retired but continue in ministry publishing their "Truth" newsletter each month.
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