The Final Conflict
First, we must understand that the final conflict will be over worship. All inhabitants of earth will be divided into one of two camps before the end—those who worship the beast and those who worship the Creator. Creature worship versus Creator worship will be the issue to divide the world. Everyone will have to make a choice regarding whom they will worship.
How will the whole earth be brought to make this choice between the creature and the Creator? The Bible predicts a time when the beast will gain immense political influence. From this position of authority, he will force people to worship him. Those who refuse will be economically boycotted and eventually sentenced to death. "And he had power to ... cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all ... to receive a mark . . . that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:15-17).
As the beast seeks to enforce worship through force, God mercifully warns people against the beast and urges them to worship Him as Creator. "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. . . . And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (Revelation 14:6-10).
The scenario is clear. In the last days, the entire world will be squeezed between the two cosmic forces. There will be no neutral ground, no demilitarized zone. Everyone will have to make a decision whom they will serve and worship.
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