Study the Word: Bulletin Articles

Study the Word: Bulletin Articles

“What happened with Demas?”

Categories: forsake, guilt, lost first love, Study the Word

As Paul’s epistle to the church at Colossae was coming to a close, the apostle made sure that he sent greetings from fellow laborers such as Luke and Demas (4:14). However, in a span of approximately a couple of years, at the close of the letter Paul wrote to Timothy, he brought up that Demas had forsaken him (II Tim. 4:10).  So what happened in that period of time that caused Demas to stop being faithful?

 

The answer to the above question was given in the Timothy letter: Paul stated that Demas loved this present world (II Tim. 4:10). My question is this: what is there to love that was in the world back then that would cause someone to leave the Lord? It would be the exact same things that exist today. We shall consider some of the lures that entice people to love the world.

 

Loving the world removes the spiritual battles

 

Sometimes Christians get tired of standing against opposition all the time. Their love for the truth, when it is lost, becomes a love for compromise, just to get along, avoiding controversy at all cost. This is why brethren are told not to grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9). There is no question that saints face battles on a daily basis against the course of this world. As good soldiers we must fight the good fight (I Tim. 6:12). When a child of God has an appetite for loving the world, the love of God will not be in them and they will forsake the Father and in turn, faithful brethren like Paul (I Jn. 2:15).

 

Loving the world removes many duties

 

Let’s face it, unlike the first point, many conflicts God’s people face come from within. By that I mean, every person faces temptation with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of like (I Jn. 2:16).  When Christians find sinful behavior attractive and desire to engage in it, the dislike for sin soon wanes. The faithful can hate every false way (Psa. 119:104), but if steps are not put in place, you can depart from a place that was once pleasing to God, to a place where God has turned away from you (I Pet. 3:12; II Pet. 2:20-22). When you no longer want to be a worker for the Lord, there is going to be a love for the world.

 

Loving the world eventually removes associations that make you feel guilty

 

We read how that Demas had forsaken Paul. Now, we know Paul felt bad about that, but did Demas? This we know for sure, when someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you usually don’t like to hang around them. In Luke 15, we read where the prodigal wanted to go far away from his family.  Perhaps what applies here is the idea of out of sight, out of mind. With this comes the Biblical text describing people who have their conscience seared with a hot iron (I Tim. 4:2).  In truth, if I were Demas and I loved this present world, hanging around Paul would have been unsettling to say the least.

 

Loving the world removes the focus from heaven

 

The passions of this word are pleasurable, but we are told they are temporary (Heb. 11:25). Even though non-lasting, those caught up in sin are not keeping their eye on the mark (Heb. 12:1-2). It would be proper to say concerning the fallen that they are not thinking about what lies beyond the grave because they only see the world. However, God’s people know this world and everything in it will one day be consumed (II Pet. 3:10). Not only that, even before that happens, our lives are like a vapor that appears for a short time then vanishes away (Jas. 4:14). So, obviously, to forsake the Lord is to not think about eternity.

 

Demas was once faithful to the Lord. He was a companion to Paul, whom he appreciated greatly. As to what happened to Demas, it can happen to us, so let us beware.

 

Chuck

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