Bible Question:

Revelation 14:9-10 says that those who “accept” the sign of the beast will not enter the Kingdom of God. I'm of the opinion that even if one does “accept” the sign and repents before they die, they will be accepted in the Kingdom of God. Any position otherwise would preclude the Doctrine of Grace. What do you think?

Bible Answer:

The passage you are referring to is as follows:

And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. (NASB) Rev. 14:9-10

The penalty does seem strong. But if we look at the passage closer, we will discover the person has chosen to worship this beast AND receive the mark. This is an act of submission and worship. It is a rejection of God. Earlier in Rev. 14:6-7, we are told that an angel will fly in the air preaching the gospel to everyone. Now that would be something most of us would like to see. Then in Rev. 14:8 we are told that judgment will be announced on Babylon. After all of that, why would anyone still want to worship the enemy of God and receive his mark?

The Mark

There is a lot of debate about the mark. There is great speculation that the mark is a computer number. It is possible that it could be a small electronic chip embedded under a person’s skin. A small electronic chip is already injected under a dog’s skin in the United States to track medical history. The “mark” will be an act of submission to the Antichrist. It will be a choice between food, clothing, and life as we know it or God.

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (NASB) Rev. 13:16-17

The Cost

Jesus has warned us that there is a cost for being a true Christian even in this life.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NASB) Matt. 5:10

Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (NASB) John 15:20

True Christians in the Tribulation will suffer. Those who are not Christians will receive the mark, and even worship the beast to keep a comfortable life. Could a person still be saved after receiving the mark? The answer is no! The answer is no because God never says there is a second chance. In fact, scripture says those who receive the mark are eternally punished. Why? These persons have heard the gospel. They have been warned and then they still go ahead and worship the beast in order to have it easy. The mark is a symbol of their religious submission. They have willingly made this decision to FINALLY reject God.

God will have given them chance after chance to accept Him. He has always done that. That is the message in this verse.

He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.” (NASB) Hebrews 4:7

But there comes a time when after we finally reject Him, God will allow us to go our way.

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.(NASB) Hebrews 10:26-27


Suffering should be part of the Christian life. One important mark of a Christian is a desire to live a holy life (2 Tim. 3:12). If we have that desire, we will suffer for God. Real Christians or saints have always suffered for God. Hebrews reminds us that the Old Testament saints always suffered.

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith . . . (NASB) Heb. 11:32-39

Many Christians in the western culture have had it easier. But that has not always been the case, and it will not be like that in the future. Some day to be a Christian will cost a person’s life!