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“THE MARK OF THE BEAST”
by Maurice Hamel, ©2020
(Sep. 16, 2020) — After Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday in about 30 A.D., he promised that he would return. The New Testament is filled with the theme that he will one day return. What might it look like if Christ returned today?
Many people believe that the second coming of Jesus will be in two stages, the first being to gather to himself those who are “believers” in what is called the “Rapture,” prior to a period of severe instability, referred to as the Great Tribulation, which would last for seven years. You’ve probably seen global catastrophe movies that give you the general picture envisioning this period with burning cities, nuclear war, earthquakes, tsunamis. The second stage of his coming would be his physical return to the earth to stop the battle of Armageddon from destroying all life on earth and establish his kingdom.
But enough of the theological background; what would tomorrow be like if the Rapture were today?
In a split second several percent of the world’s population would vanish.
How might that play out if, scattered across the world, 50 to 100 million people were gone?
Depending on who they were, governments would collapse, economies would be disrupted, critical infrastructure would be left unstaffed.
The day after, how would the press across the world deal with this event?
Since it would certainly resolve much of the political divide in many nations, the press might immediately look for a silver lining, rather than calling it a 9/11-magnitude catastrophe. Opposition to things like abortion and gay rights would pretty-much disappear.
For example, if the evangelical right were removed from the Republican Party and the social moderates from the Democratic Party, policy in the US would move in the direction of the revolutionary rioters. Who knows, when you wake up tomorrow Nancy Pelosi could have become president and there are several Supreme Court vacancies.
But how would anyone explain where the people went? There are fringe teachings in the New Age movement that predict that UFOs will come to remove those people on earth who are obstructing human progress toward becoming more advanced. The concept is that people who stick to the “Old Ways” are the ones who are preventing real action on climate change, mass extinctions, and the threat of nuclear war. So, if the right-wing Christians were removed by Martians, it would be saving the planet from the failed human experiment.
With the amount of government information being released on UFOs lately, people would be prone to consider such a perspective, especially if a convincing spokesman were to appear. And really, how many people would immediately think, “This is what my grandmother was warning me would one day happen”? We have become a culture that has more faith in UFOs than the Bible. So, don’t be surprised if ET shows up.
Also, don’t be surprised if the status quo in many Super Power conflicts suddenly changes. Without Israel having US backing, will Iran, Turkey or even Russia go after Israel, which might then defend itself with nuclear weapons? Will China become dominant and unstoppable in imposing its will?
The power vacuum and the economic instability added to the current COVID pandemic would cause people to even more want a strong leader to bring stability. Already we are hearing people say that if you do not get the COVID vaccine you should be prevented from being able to go to school or hold a job. You could envision being required to get a chip implanted to confirm that you have been vaccinated. People who are afraid and want to be protected will be prone to giving up freedoms in return for a promise of stability and safety. So, in some countries, we might not be far from not being able to buy and sell without having a chip in our hand. See how easy it would be to implement “The Mark of the Beast.”
Of course, this is all just speculation from someone who has had too much free time being shut-in lately. But things seem to be strangely lining up with what was written 2,000 years ago by the followers of Jesus.
If nothing else, it should make you stop and wonder, what if Jesus really meant what he said?
Maurice Hamel is a retired environmental scientist living on a small New England farm. He is author of “NATURE – GOD’S GROANING CREATION: Biblical Perspectives for the Environmentally Concerned” available through his website, healingtheland.org. He continues to write on the intersection of faith and world events, counseling husbands, devotional Bible study and “the need for people to grow in their relationship with God who loves them.”