It’s possible that one of the hardest books to interpret is the book of Revelation. There is so much imagery that is used that it becomes difficult to know what exactly is literal. We know that Revelation is apocalyptic literature, and we know that apocalyptic literature is not all literal. But, how much of it is literal?
At a recent youth event, I was asked a question about the mark of the beast? Who gets it and can you get it and still go to heaven? I wouldn’t say that we know a lot about this issue, but there are a few verses we look at to base our theology. Here are a few:
 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,  so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (ESV)
 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. (ESV)
 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (ESV)
So, how do we explain these? Here is my attempt at a short answer.
What do you think the mark of the beast is? Comment below!
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