Being a Christian today does not seem to carry the drama it once did. In the day of Jesus Christ, not only was Jesus crucified for his beliefs as were his disciples and others who followed the calling of Jesus Christ.
But today; accepting Jesus Christ or claiming to be a Christian an 'in thing' to do, in fact over 75% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Amazingly, this is down from a high of 86% in 1990. Regardless, I would be my bet if we compared this percentage to the percentage of those in Christ's day, the percentage then would be significantly less.
Jesus Christ continually warned us about the cost of following him, for example in: Mt 10:17 "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils…" and 22 All men will hate you because of me…" and Jn 16:2 "They will put you out of the synagogue…"
To my question are you, right now, where you are sitting, ready for Christ to come today. Are you as strong in your faith as your brother's demonstrated from Christ's day? I ask because when you read in the Book of Revelations 13:15-17 "He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that I could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 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, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…"
The Bible reveals what the mark is in Rev 13:18, …"it is man's number. His number 666."
So, the Bible states, we will have to bear this mark and without it, we will be evicted from society and even killed, thus forcing us who will not wear the mark to live under the radar. One detail about the mark is not revealed, but here is my take which will be the ultimate test for disciples of Christ. It is so tough, if you are not ready, then you may give up your beliefs and/or be fooled into false belief.
We are true believers in Christ, disciples of Christ, we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we love our neighbor as ourselves, we follow the ten commandments, we admit we are sinners, we have invited Christ into our lives, we live the word of God, yet!
Imagine, not only are we identified as not wanting to follow this false profit, but this false profit has been able to convince the masses that we are not just non-believers in him, but we are not Christians, we are not followers of Christ. So, not just everything is taken from us, our lively hoods, our loved ones, ability to function in life normally, but the false profit now has convicted us as not being disciples of Christ.
Are you ready to hold the line on your beliefs? If this life has tested you and brought you to God, the praise the Lord for He has given you what you need to get into Heaven. If your life has been easy, you have not been tested, then pray, pray that God will give you the strength necessary to pass the threshold into Heaven.