POINTS TO PONDER 40. The “MARK”
I believe that this COVID19 lockdown is an alert signal to us, of what is on the way. We know that during the Great Tribulation period, the anti-Christ will assume total control as the world leader, even to the point of requiring worship as God. Buying and selling will be restricted only to those who have his mark. What is the mark? A tattoo? A micro-chip? The number 666? Regardless of what form the mark will take, it will serve as an identifier. It will signify to whom you belong. One belonging to Christ, will not receive the mark. Those who belong to the beast, will receive the mark. It is not hard to see the rapid progression today, from a discussion about forced vaccinations and not being able to travel or buy without a vaccination card, to receiving an identifying symbol of allegiance to the anti-Christ tomorrow. We are that close.
The Old Testament believers also had a "mark" that was commanded by God to be worn on the forehead and hands. This “mark” was the Word of God. "…thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes." (Deuteronomy 6:1-8). I saw these phylactery boxes and arm straps being worn by many orthodox Jews at the western wall in Jerusalem last year. Those outward adornments publicized their beliefs. Do we, as Christians, have an identifying "mark", showing to whom we belong and what we believe? Yes we do, but it is not an outward sign that we wear, such as a cross, or a bumper sticker, but the inward seal of the Holy Spirit who manifests the life of Jesus through us.
We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 to "...sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you...". Why would anyone ask us about the reason for our hope, other than because they see it in us? We put out a different "vibe". We have a different "spirit" than the world has. We don't have to shout it out, or wear a mark to show that we're different, we are different. That difference is the life of the Lord Jesus manifested in us. We don't act like unbelievers who have no hope. We don't panic at the threat of a virus. We don't seek “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. We don't return evil for evil but rather we "...love our enemies, we bless those who curse us, we do good to those who hate us, and we pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us..." and we love one another. These are the identifying marks of a follower of Jesus and they show the reason and reality of the hope within us.
This COVID19 event should serve as a reminder of what is eternally important. We should not be demanding our rights, protesting, or complaining about the way we are being treated, but rather we should be showing the world what Jesus looks like. Are we?