By Jenniffer Mann
First introduced to the Seventh Day Adventist church in 1996. I have vivid memories of sitting in the lounge of the person I was dating and watching videos with his mother, on how we would become a cashless society, the Mark of the beast and the enforcement of chip technology, which will be required to go about normal living. As a strict conservative baptist at the time, all of this seemed incredibly far fetched and wild. A cashless society? Being forced to worship on Sundays? Chip implants? Roll forward some 25 years and the Coronavirus pandemic has ushered in changes that we as Christians should be paying very close attention to.
In 2023, Sweden is to become the first cashless nation in the world, with an economy that goes 100 percent digital. Introduced in 2015, thousands have already been implanted with the RFID chip, which allows them to do away with bank cards and even keys, to their places of employment. I have noticed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase anything with cash where I reside. In fact, I cannot tell you the last time I withdrew money from the cash point machine. Many shops display signs saying they do not accept cash and wrapped in the guise of the Coronavirus, this change is being welcomed without challenge.
Covid has profoundly changed how we work, travel, shop and interact. In addition, the track and trace system, allows for a level of intrusion on our private lives, unprecedented to date. As we enter what is likely to be a third wave, we are all embracing without question, anything that can be done virtually. Many of us in fact, welcome the change as the foundation to a more ‘secure’ way of existing.
According to Forbes:
“The last six months alone have produced more digital transformation than the last decade, with every transformation effort already underway finding itself accelerated, and at scale.”
We are moving into an era where access to services is going to be heavily impeded by not embracing this new technology. Being able to work, travel, shop and socialise will be dependent on it, so even if not introduced as mandatory, existing without compliance will make every day living very challenging. If you take a close look, you will see subtle signs that indicate an erosion of civil liberties. Perhaps the question we ought to be asking then, is what else, do these changes signify?
According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) “Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the way we view cities.” They said in the report.
“City-dwellers are now rethinking their living situations in light of the pandemic, and re-evaluating the importance of larger homes, green spaces and connections with the local community,” It is interesting that non-Christians are re-evaluating the importance of city life.”
Armed with the knowledge that we have as Seventh Day Adventists, should we be preparing for the “abomination of desolation” that we know for sure is coming? Matthew 24:16 we read …‘Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.’ Perhaps we ought to be ensuring our finances are right and that we are able to sustain ourselves before Revelation 13:17-18 takes hold, which reads ‘and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name’.
The fact we are living in end times is irrefutable, so what are we doing about it? Are we are too happily situated in our places of comfort to consider the vastly changing social and political landscape? If we are not diligently following the signs we may find ourselves unable to get out the system if we are as dependent on the state for survival, as the non-believer. More “unprecedented times” are sure to follow and if we are studying our bibles, those times may be upon us sooner than we realise. As food for thought, I will leave us with Matthew 24:15-21.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.“
Ask yourself what preparations you are making or will you need to ‘flee’ due to the lack of preparation!
Father God, please increase our spiritual understanding, so we will not get caught up in the temporary demands of this world but will make preparations for your soon return. Amen.