One World Economy
At some point during the Tribulation period, Antichrist will establish a one world economy, to go along with the one world religion (worship of him), and a one world government (led by him). This will be instituted by the implementing of some type of "mark," either on a person's forehead or on their right hand, and will somehow involve, not surprisingly, his name. This has become known as "the mark of the beast." It may be some type of chip that is implanted, but whatever it is, the idea is that it will probably be easily scanned (or whatever the latest technology will be at the time).
The idea here is that Antichrist is going to want to know who is on his side and who isn't. If you don't take the mark, and are apprehended, the Bible says that you will be killed. But even if you are not apprehended, or killed immediately, the idea is to starve you out or have you die of dehydration. You see, you will not be able to buy or sell or participate in any way in society without this mark. It doesn't take a genius to see that if you can't buy food or water it won't be long till you're gone. The good news is, if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, the Bible says that you will spend eternity with God in heaven. On the other hand, if you take the mark, you will be able to openly participate in everyday matters of society, but the Bible says that you have sealed your doom to spend eternity in hell apart from God forever. Not pleasant to think about, but the Bible is very clear about it.
Let's get practical about this. Let's say I'm living in this time of the Tribulation, and the Antichrist is just beginning to set up this economy with the mark and all that. Let's say I don't want to take it, but one day I'm getting kind of groggy and I figure that a Caramel Frappuccino (which, by the way, is the greatest drink known to man) from Starbuks would go great right about now. If I have not taken this mark, I can't buy it. And, to go a step further, if the barista who usually makes the Caramel Frappuccino's for me doesn't take the mark, she can't sell it. In fact she probably won't be able to even work at Starbucks because everything will be run by the Antichrist's government. Now, no doubt some people who refuse to align themselves with Antichrist will be able to successfully go "underground" and set up food co-opts and things like that, but it will not be easy. If you've ever read the "Left Behind" series they go into detail about what that might be like. (By the way, we highly recommend the Left Behind Series to get a great understanding of what this time could be like).
Back in the 70's, there was a bumper sticker that read, "Don't Take the Mark." We're not big on bumper stickers, but that one hit the nail on the head. At the risk of being redundant, the Bible is very clear about this. Whoever decides to willfully and willingly take this mark, has sealed their doom to be apart from God forever once they die. Anyone who takes the mark will in effect be saying, "I'm choosing to follow this earthly leader (the Antichrist) and I'm choosing to reject God." Only there is no turning back from that point on. For anyone living during the Tribulation, "Don't Take the Mark" is the best advice that you could heed.