22 January 2021
Is the Covid-19 vaccine the mark of the beast? That is what some have suggested. You may be disappointed with what I’m going to say about this. I’ve realised there are too many questions to address them all in a few minutes. Questions like this: How does the vaccine work? What is the mark of the beast? Why do some people think the vaccine is that mark? And if you’re impatient for my answer, it’s this: “No, I don’t think the vaccine is the mark of the beast.”
For one reason, vaccines have done incredible good. They are, says Steve Fouch of the Christian Medical Fellowship, “the biggest lifesaving medical technology.” Thanks to vaccines, smallpox and polio – not to mention flu – are no longer the deadly killers they once were.
For another reason, there have been so many attempts throughout history – all futile – to identify either the beast or the mark. Candidates have included former US President Ronald Reagan (as the beast) and barcodes (as the mark). I’m not confident that this attempt is any different.
Perhaps, though, it’s more helpful to address the fear that underlies the question: the fear that we may accidentally become the victims of a satanic conspiracy without knowing it. We can safely say that God will not let that happen. Consider this: “I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, NIV). Now, if death can’t separate us from God and his love, and demons can’t do it, why do we think a vaccine can? Why would God let that happen?
But isn’t the devil deceitful, clever and powerful? Doesn’t Peter warn us, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yes, he does, and there is danger here. But then James tells us this: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Apparently the roaring lion is more of a toothless pussy cat when we stand up to him, which we can do in the name of Jesus.
One preacher puts it like this: you can either ‘look up’ or ‘freak out’. You can either look up to Jesus in faith or freak out in fear. The Bible encourages us not to look for Antichrist but to look to Jesus Christ.
Father, thank you for the gift of not only one vaccine, but several. Please help us not to be afraid but to trust your love for us in Jesus. Amen.
Chris Hobbs, Senior Minister