Revelation 14:8-10 (New International Version)
8A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.
I was listening to an old Francis Chan sermon and he was talking about those that take the mark of the beast in the last days. I stopped the sermon and just thought about what that will look like. The reality is, if you do not take it you will not be able to buy or sell food, etc. (Revelation 13:17). Wow - just think about that AND then think that God said DO NOT DO IT or you will drink the wine of His fury. I do not want that to be me - YIKES!
Think about what that will look like. Talk about making a stand, one that most likely will lead to death (but eternal life - whoo hoo :)).
And this is the part I was thinking about - the reality of taking this stand.
This is not a Sunday morning kinda stand, the kind that says "I go to church, I'm good." This is the kind of stand that says I am willing to die for what I believe - DIE, dead, no more - because I believe. Gulp - that is huge! I honestly have a hard time imagining it! But I do know that there are many that have - martyrs of the faith ~ courageous, just courageous - wow, how I look up to them. (there is a book by DC Talk that shares many of their stories - amazing).
So back to taking this stand.
I have a picture of what that may look like - maybe standing in line with my kids, waiting for food and then the option, the moment of truth - I say "no, I am a believer in Jesus Christ" and then I get in the line for the head chopper thing, what is it called?
I have no idea if this is really what it will look like - this is just my "Left Behind" mental images (love the series).
Are you prepared? Are you truly making that stand NOW? Now, before all of this?
I do believe in the rapture so I put myself in this as I think about it, but I know that I will be gone in a blink of an eye, before all of this - YAY!
But many will experience this moment.
Some, that have considered themselves as followers, true believers. And in that moment, will they obey God? God said DON'T DO IT, DON'T TAKE IT!
God tells us a lot of things. A lot of things for now too, do we listen? Do we trust that His way is right and leads to life not death? Oh I am thankful for grace and mercy as I rely on it daily - Thank You Jesus. But let's not make it an excuse to not move forward in what God tells us to do and not to do.
Taking a stand is for the now. Sometimes I think it is harder in the lukewarm society that says 90% of Americans are Christians (really?).....never the less, it is for the now.
We all have those "moments" - do I stand up for what I believe in? Or do I sheepishly walk away.
We have had lots of those moments since announcing that we were adopting....lots! We have been called "Jesus freaks", "on a Jesus kick", "weird", that we have "lost our minds", "changed forever" or "not the same" (Praise the Lord on that last one, amen?) and these are the ones we know about. :)
I am OK with that ... now - not to say it did not hurt, but it drove me straight to Him in prayer and to dive into His word - Praise His name.
Adoption has put us in a very different place. Our stand is clear and very visible - a city on a hill - that is a good thing (so thankful for the adoption journey). It has brought me to a place that I share my faith way more often then I ever use to. My life is very different because of my faith - shouldn't all of ours be that believe?
Shouldn't it be visible? Different? Obvious?
There will be a day that this stand will have to be made. Whether in a line for the mark or among your friend, peers and daily life - the choice will have to be made.
Practice the right choice NOW. Are you making the stand? Is your life reflecting Christ that lives within you? Is it obvious?
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.