People sometimes wonder why is it that I post so much about health. What has health got to do with salvation anyhow? God came to save our souls, not our bodies, right? In this post, I am going to look at the impact of our health in the end times and how that is going to affect our faithfulness to God. It is not as far-fetched as you think.
Revelation 13 speaks of a time when people will not be allowed to buy or sell unless they receive the mark of the Beast.
"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:16-17, NIV).
What this means is that NO BUSINESS TRANSACTION will be allowed to take place unless one has the mark of the Beast. You will not be able to buy groceries, pay your mortgage, buy a car, buy gas, ride on public transportation, purchase or use your cell phone, pay your utility bills, take vacations, receive a pay check, or pay for medical care, and so on. At that time Christians will be required to put their full trust in God to make it through, trusting Him to keep and provide for them. Christians who are suffering from illnesses requiring medication might be tempted to take the mark of the Beast in order to purchase their drugs or to receive medical care. If they are weak in faith, they might choose to take the mark of the Beast rather than suffer or die of their illnesses. They might be hesitant about trusting God to keep them healthy or alive. People who have learned NOW how to put their health in God's hand by following His health principles, and trusting in Him in situations when doctors have no cure, WILL be able to endure the health test during the time of trouble. We know from scriptures that if we do not receive a full cure here, God will restore our health in His eternal kingdom. In Isaiah 35:3-6 (NIV) it says:
"Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. "
Here is the thing: ALL Christians will be under extreme duress during that time, whether ill or healthy. It will be a time when we will have to make a conscious choice between being faithful to God or taking the mark of the Beast, to avoid being killed by the Beast. Some of us are depending upon the rapture to avoid facing this situation, but there is no evidence that Christians will be raptured away before this event takes place. As a matter of fact, Christians will be around during that time. The "saints" referred here in this passage are regular Christians and not some special canonized saints. Speaking of the Beast:
"He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints" (Revelation 13:7-10).
My friends, do not be alarmed. If you are trusting in God now, and have learned how to trust Him, then when the time of testing comes, you will be strong. If you have never learned how to trust Him, then when the time of testing comes you will fail. In the book of James it says, "Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1: 2-3). He also said, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12).
The everyday trials we face in everyday life are not pleasant by any means, but it is God's purpose that we use those trials as opportunities for getting stronger in the faith. Nothing feels better than having victory over trials and temptations. The trials and tribulations of today, will strengthen our faith for tomorrow.
By the way, the time of the mark of the Beast is not here yet. When that time comes you will know, without a shadow of a doubt (and I will warn you too ahead of time). For now, we just got to keep trusting and living for God, and allow Him to strengthen our faith day by day.