So this number 666:
Is trying to be what you are not;
Is trying to blend in to the culture; and …
Is trying to justify your compromise which comes from a corrupted heart.
“It 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, 17 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.” (Revelation 13 v 16-17)
This is not a tattoo!
This is not an insertion of a microchip by Bill Gates into a Covid vaccine!
But Just as Christ is ‘in us’ meaning His nature, His character, His image is sealed in us by the Holy Spirit who lives and empowers our lives then so too, the nature, character and image of the second beast is within the soul of the world, its rationale, its attitude, spirit, decisions and responses. As the mark of Christ is working in our lives so the mark of the beast is corrupting our lives.
So if you have the mark of Christ and if you refuse to be corrupted by the beast of the earth then you will suffer.
It might be difficult to understand the pressure on those first Christians who were being pressurised to offer the right sacrifices or bow to the right image before they could trade or even enter the market place to buy.
Do I earn money (and the money in my pocket has ‘Caesar the son of god’ printed on the coins) and feed my family or do I compromise my worship of Jesus? Do I starve or do I sacrifice to idols?
But what of us? Will this become even worse for us as time goes by?
Already our faith comes away from singing hymns in religious buildings and is being worked out in this dragon-beast empowered world when we will face similar perhaps more subtle but nonetheless challenging questions of compromise. Do we let our hearts become corrupted to survive this world? That’s the purpose of 666.