There are Christian people who have fears about the mark of the beast, and one of those fears is potentially taking the mark unknowingly, or accidentally. These fears are often magnified by conspiracy theories such as the covid 19 vaccine being the mark of the beast.
The idea that a Christian, or anyone at all can receive the mark of the beast unknowingly or accidentally, speaks volumes to the lack of sound doctrine which is prevalent among evangelical Christians. The covid vaccination is not a sign of apostasy, but those who turn away from sound doctrine are, and those who believe that you can unknowingly receive the mark of the beast are dabbling with real apostasy by abandoning sound doctrine in Christ.
In 2 Timothy, Paul writes the following:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. ~ 2 Timothy 4:1-4
Conspiracies which circulate on social media platforms (often repeated by Christians) are fables, and they are not in line with sound Biblical doctrine. The truth is in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:21), and the idea that a person who loves God can unknowingly take a mark whereby they will damned is by definition a heresy, for it is a denial of the true faith in Christ. Maybe your “god” (the one you imagine) would damn you to hell for something you did unknowingly, but not the true God and Father of Jesus Christ!
In John’s gospel, Jesus says the following:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. ~ John 10:27-29
If a person could unknowingly receive the mark of a man (the mark of the beast) and consequently be condemned, that would mean it is possible to be plucked out of the hands of Jesus and out of the hands of the Father. Yet Jesus says such is not possible.
According to scripture, we are kept by the power of God unto salvation. Consider the words of the apostle Peter:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ~ 1 Peter 1:3-5
It’s unfortunate but not uncommon that some people project onto certain Biblical texts (such as those which mention the mark of the beast) their own superstitions, and in doing so they undermine the very gospel they claim to believe.
In the gospel, God’s righteous character is revealed in and through Christ, and the New Testament repeatedly underscores the truth regarding God’s keeping power for those who trust in him. In his letter to Timothy, Paul declares: I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. ~ 2 Timothy 1:12
You never see Paul being worried about the mark of the beast. Paul was persuaded that God would keep him and taught this as an essential part of our faith towards God. Not only does Paul teach it but others in the New Testament do as well. Consider Jude’s encouraging words:
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude 1:24-25
Jude’s doctrine is consistent with Paul’s who says the following to the Romans:
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:31-39
In the book of the Revelation, those who received the mark of the beast were not tricked, conned, or deceived. They were marked because they rejected God and refused to repent, and whether one believes the mark of the beast is literal, symbolic, past, present, or future, there is absolutely no truth in the belief that anyone could receive it accidentally or unknowingly and thus be rejected by God.
Such notions are a fallacy and undermine the words of Jesus in John 10, the words of Paul in Romans 8 and the entirety of the doctrine of God in Christ. If the truth be known, that is exactly what Satan wishes to accomplish with fear regarding the mark of the beast. Such conspiracies have no place in Bible interpretation and have no place in Christian behavior, and those who embrace them deny the very truth by which they were saved.