For most Christians, Revelations 13:16-17 immediately jumped to mind: “It [the second beast] also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
Now over the centuries, many have wondered what this mark could be, and each generation had something that it could point to and say, that could be the mark. (Hitler’s marking of the Jews made some consider him the Anti-Christ). In our generation, microchip implants are catching our attention. But very few, if any, believe that what is occurring in Wisconsin is this “mark of the beast.” However, what is notable is that this new development just brings us another step toward fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.
At one time (even in my lifetime) it seemed farfetched that anyone in the US would accept anything that might even smell of the mark of the beast, but a few things have changed.
First of all, though we still call ourselves a Christian nation, fewer and fewer citizens are claiming to be Christians. In fact, according to reports, though the Christian population is rising worldwide, it is declining in all developed countries. This shift means the population in the the countries where technology is being researched and developed is more accepting of these technological advances.
Secondly, microchip implants are becoming more commonplace and the reasons for receiving them more rational: convenience, safety, immediate medical data. Also, we have learned that the two most probably places for implanting them are the back of the hand and the forehead, where the skin is the thinnest.
I definitely don’t want to create a slippery slope, but as the technology develops and the reasons become more acceptable, it is not too difficult to see why implants could make their way into everyday life and perhaps eventually be used by the Anti-Christ. So our response could be very much like the frog and the water analogy. A frog will jump out of boiling water, but when placed in tepid or cool water, which is slowly brought to a boil, it won’t know it is boiling to death.
Perhaps this is why there are so many verses in the Bible reminding us to be alert and watchful, such as . . .
I Peter 5:8: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Matthew 24:44: Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
I Thessalonians 5:6: So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
It is interesting to note that these verses remind us to be alert, watchful, and ready. Not one of of them says to be afraid. Why? Because regardless of what man does, God is still in control.