Revelation: The Mark of the Beast and Children of God
In Revelation, the Beast, or as popularly labeled, the Antichrist, will be viewed by many as a prophet. The Beast will perform miracles and wonders, deceiving many people into becoming his followers and adopting this pseudo-religious belief. This is what is commonly meant by receiving the mark of the beast. It is also believed to be a literal mark that will require worshiping the beast in order to engage in certain privileges such as commerce. In Revelation 13.16-18, it states:
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”
In Revelation 14.9-11, it states:
“If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.”
This indicates that forgiveness is unlikely since it is a choice that people make. There are two perspectives on this, one suggesting that God knows that those who take the mark are unlikely to even ask for forgiveness. The other is that taking the mark in itself is an eternal or unforgivable sin. In essence, it is an act of turning away from God. In Mark 3.28-30, it is written:
“All sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”
Some scholars argue that the mark itself is not an indication, since it is likely many Christians will have to take it under duress. It is whether or not people would choose to worship the beast, knowing full well that it is a false prophet and does not come from God. It is not a settled doctrine, but Christianity strongly encourages the faithful to be aware of the mark.