The two beasts are introduced in Revelation 13. They will reign over the earth for most of the last three and a half years of the Tribulation. These beasts have supernatural powers and rule with an iron fist. They consistently punish and kill Christians and require every person to take the mark of the beast on their foreheads or upon their right hand. This mark will become the only way to purchase food and merchandise. Believers who are unwilling to take that mark will not only be persecuted, but they will also not be allowed to purchase the bare essentials for life. While some believe the Church will still be on the earth during this time and others believe we will have been raptured out before these events occur, we must recognize the hatred for God and His Word. Even as we struggle in modern times with persecutions and penalties, our current sufferings do not compare to what these people will face. Why do they continue on? They have a Hope for eternity that is not just wishful thinking. They earnestly believe that, in death, they will experience true, everlasting life. This is their motivation for taking a stand for Jesus. Is that your hope? Is that hope your motivation for taking a stand at work or in your neighborhood? We have the same promise of an eternity with God provided through the sacrifice of His Son. How can that not push us to take a stand for Jesus while we still have breath?

Help me, Lord, to stand strong in my faith no matter how difficult the problems and persecutions. Help me to take a stand for You in every venue of my life knowing my influence could draw someone else into Your kingdom or keep those who are in the kingdom from giving up.