"The source of MacArthur's belief stems from the false pre-tribulation rapture theory." (end quote)
I believe that his belief stems from both the false pre-trib rapture theory and as well as Calvinism (especially in regards to eternal security).
I believe the Mark of the Beast will be the pit (refer to Psalm 94:13) which will used by God to trap the wicked (both carnal Christians and unbelievers). It will be the ultimate test of faithfulness to see who really is a follower of God (refer to Rev. 13:10 and Rev. 14:12. Carnal Christians will abuse Scripture and God's grace now, however, if they take the Mark of the Beast, it's game over for them. There is no redemption for them at that point. God knows Satan has planted weeds (carnal/wicked people) among the wheat (His faithful followers), and He will wait until the end of the world (at the end of the Great Tribulation) to destroy the wicked, as He doesn't want His followers to get caught in the middle of His wrath (refer to Matthew 13:36-43) . God will allow His followers to face persecution during the Great Tribulation at the hands of Satan and the Antichrist (Revelation 13:7). This will be used to set us apart from the wicked and refine us (both Jewish and Gentile believers). Refer to Zechariah 13:9, Daniel 11:35, Daniel 12:10, and Revelation 7:14. Not every Christian will die during the Tribulation, for some will live to see and take part in the Rapture, which will take place after the Tribulation (refer to 1 Cor. 15:51-52 and Matthew 24:29-31). After the Rapture/First Resurrection takes place at the Second Coming of Christ, then God unleashes His wrath on the Antichrist and his kingdom (refer to Revelation chapters 15-16). I believe the Rapture/First Resurrection/Second Coming of Christ takes place before the Seven Bowls of Seven Plagues (the last 7 plagues which are the most destructive) as Rev. 15:2 shows all the saints who were victorious over the Antichrist (the Beast) during the Great Tribulation- standing on a glass sea mixed with fire. They are in the spiritual realm at that point. Then you see the seven last plagues being unleashed subsequently- meaning they won't be on earth to be exposed to the Seven Plagues. When the 6th Plague is released, the demonic spirits gather the world leaders together at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). After the 7th Plague takes place (destruction of Babylon), then the Battle of Armageddon takes place (Rev. 19:11-19). Christ comes with the armies of Heaven to defeat the Antichrist, the world leaders and their armies who have all gathered together to go to war against Christ. Christ defeats all of them and then establishes His Millennial rule on earth. Satan is bound during those 1,000 years while the Antichrist and the False Prophet will already be in the lake of fire. Satan will be released after the 1,000 years and allowed to deceive the nations Gog and Magog to rise up against God and His children in Jerusalem (Rev. 20:7-10)- this is the final assault of Satan against God and His children. However, God will devour them all with fire and destroy them. Then Satan is thrown into the lake of fire for eternity.