Is the Mark of the Beast just simply taking a "mark" to buy and sell? No. It involves worshipping the beast (Rev. 20:4). How can a person worship "the beast"? Only a deceived person can do that.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 (Bold added)
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Because of their giving place to deception, and because of their rejecting the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, God will send these hardened people "strong delusion that they should believe a lie".
God's Word says that people can harden their hearts against God and God can harden their hearts. There is a clear warning not to have a hardened heart. God, in the Old Testament, talks about this through the psalmist.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
God, in the New Testament, talks about this through the writer of Hebrews. (Remember, there is one Bible. Both Old and New Testaments are for our learning and growth. [2 Timothy 3:16]. )
7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
A hardened heart cannot enter into the promised land (Heaven) because of unbelief. Only a hardened person can take the mark of the beast because to do so involves resisting the conviction of the Holy Ghost. You cannot say something unless you believe it in your heart. If you pledge your soul to the Antichrist, you are doing it from your heart, against the will of God.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
What is in your heart comes out through your words and actions. If a person wants to reject Salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ and take the mark of the beast, he is doing it from a hardened heart. God would then have to harden his heart just as He did with Pharaoh.
And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
Why did God hardened Pharaoh's heart? There were several occasions when God had Moses and Aaron do miracles (which God did through them) and Pharaoh hardened his heart against God and God's working.
20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.
22 And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said.
There are several times that the Bible mentions Pharaoh hardening his heart against the working of God's Spirit. (See Exodus 7, Exodus 8, and Exodus 9). Finally, God had to harden Pharaoh's heart.
1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:
2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the Lord.
Like Pharaoh, who God hardened, the people who have rejected Jesus Christ (the true Jesus Christ of the Bible) and who have hardened their hearts against the working of God's Spirit, God will have to harden their hearts. Please understand, when the Holy Spirit works to draw someone to God and that person resists, that is hardness. If that person humbles himself (or herself) and seeks God, his hardness softens.
There are various degrees of hardness. Pharaoh was very hardened against God. King David, when he sinned with Bathsheba, had another type of hardness. David humbled himself and repented from his sin while Pharaoh did not. Another example is Judas. Judas betrayed Jesus, but never repented from his heart. Unlike Judas, Peter denied Jesus three times, but later repented. When God hardens a person's heart, that person cannot repent. A person who cannot repent cannot be forgiven. And, a person who God hardens can blaspheme the Holy Ghost. That is why Jesus Christ told the wicked Pharisees that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven.
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.
Because a hardened person (like Pharaoh) will have no problem speaking evil of God's power, he (or she) will willingly take an implanted chip to buy and sell. The mark of the beast is not just a chip. It is a spiritual mark related to the condition of the heart. In these last days and during the time of the Tribulation, God's Spirit is moving powerfully to draw all men to Himself. Resisting this conviction to repent from sin and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation is hardening the heart. The more God pours out His Spirit, the more one has to harden one's heart to resist God's power like Pharaoh did when he saw the miracles in Egypt. As He did in the days of Acts, and during the whole period of the time since then, God is moving by His Spirit to draw all men to Himself.
Jesus Christ said:
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
Jesus is drawing all men (men and women) to Him. He is now moving powerfully to draw the lost to Him before He brings His judgment down upon the Earth.
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
Don't harden your heart against the Holy Spirit's conviction (see Hebrews 3). Make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior while there is still time. Death can snatch you away at any moment.
God loves us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and shed His precious blood to pay for all of these sins.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If you repent (turn away) from your sins (Acts 3:19), and believe and confess aloud that Christ has done this for you (Romans 10:9-10), and have made Him your Lord and Savior (again Romans 10:9-10) you are saved. Now seek God with all your heart. Seek to know Him and you will (Jeremiah 29:13).
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.