It's not a secret that I have spent a large part of my study on the opening of the Bible and creation apologetics. Much speculation, and books, have been made about the end times, but I don't give it a lot of attention. I know on average that more than 150,000 people die every 24 hours. End times speculation doesn't matter for these people, but hearing the gospel and coming to Christ does. That is why I prefer spending efforts on reaching out while their is time. However, end times are throughout the Bible and not something to ignore.
Both the Old and New Testament point to times of tribulation to come and an ultimate judgment. The books of Daniel, Matthew, and the gospels come to mind for sources, but especially the book of Revelation. I have long said this is one of the most widely debated and studied book of the Bible, but I think Genesis may beat it for debate. I have heard some churches completely ignore Revelation and end times, but that doesn't sound like a great church that looks at all of Scripture.
What are some of the signs of the end times? A few of them are wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes in various places, pestilences (plagues or viruses), signs in the heavens, and people fearful of the future. Many of these have been around in varying degrees throughout the past thousand years or more with people saying that particular time in history was the end. However, one aspect has been sticking out to me lately that is in the recent news.
In Revelation 13:17, John talks about the mark of the beast. It's something that if you don't have, you cannot buy or sell. I have been seeing in Australia, France, and a growing number of countries that anyone without a vaccine passport aren't allowed in stores. In China, cell phone apps are automatically tracking when a person enters a business and includes health history. This is a first in history due to current technology, but it doesn't quite fit the prediction.
The mark is said to be on the hand or forehead of an individual. The prevalence of cell phones constantly in hands, I could see it being a possibility. However, paper cards wouldn't quite qualify in this detail. I recently watched a video talking about this subject and showed a microchip being implanted in a person's hand that contained all their banking and personal information. To checkout at a store, she just had to bump her hand on a device at the register.
Whether we are near to Christ's return or have hundreds of years remaining, we don't know. In this quad life though, I look forward to His return more anxiously with each passing year and want to be found doing God's will when He comes or calls me home.