So that nobody can buy or sell unless they have the mark of the name of the monster or the number of its name.” (verse17).
The Mark of the Beast, as I have always heard it is called, has been portrayed as the ultimate betrayal of Christ in the end times. If you took the mark you became the modern day Judas. But as NT and others have pointed out, is it really the ultimate betrayal? Would there not have been little decisions or compromises along the way that would have lead to the actual marking of the Beast; the 666 number tattooed on right hands and foreheads. Would prior compromises be just as wrong?
Some would argue that the making of little compromises towards the end times have already begun. Could it be that modern day tattoos are just a precursor to the mark, or that the internet is eventually going to be the only means of which we buy and sell wares? What about those who do not have access or chose not access the internet? Could they currently be without the ability to buy and sell goods?
How about debit and credit cards? Cash is becoming a less popular means of exchange. Debit and credit cards are not accessible for all. Again if you don’t have a debit or credit card will this limit your buying and selling ability? Have we already begun the slippery slope on our way to the biggie, the ultimate Mark of the Beast? If so how will that affect our current way of making purchases? Do we alter our behavior now so if and when we are challenged to take the ultimate mark that we will have practiced saying no prior to that day? Lots to ponder.