by Jarrod Jacobs
Paul's words, "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world... " are familiar to most students of the Bible. Demas was one of Paul's friends and companions (Colossians 4:14; Phile. 23-24). He associated himself with Paul, and other Christians. Have you ever wondered why Demas "loved this present world"? What was he doing? Paul did not reveal the specifics. However, there are lessons for us to learn from this short verse. Demas is the example of all who have (or will) become unfaithful to God in this life. When Paul said, "Demas hathforsaken me, having loved this present world" we learn:
Demas loved "this present world" rather than God. Though this is not an uncommon thing (even today, Il Tim. 3:1-5, esp.v.4), it is still tragic!! Those who are Christians, must understand that our first priority in this life is to love God (Matthew 22:36-40). Why? Because He created us (Acts 17:24; Revelation 4:11), He sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-9), and He has given us a Bible to read and study so that we might know God, and know He wants us to be with Him in Heaven (Il Pet. 1:20-21; John 14:1-3). Besides the physical blessings (Matthew 5:45), God provides spiritual blessings to those in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
The saddest part of Il Timothy 4:10 is knowing that Demas was a partaker of all these things and still turned away. Can we understand why this was so foolish? Even in the face of persecutions and death threats, Demas and other early Christians had it better than the richest Roman (Il 1 Corinthians 4:17-5:1)!! How many of us in this great nation forget all the great blessings that are showered upon us by God?
"This present world" ruled Demas, rather than God (Il Tim. 4:10; Romans 6:16; Matthew 6:24; Il Pet. 2:19). Let us remember that when we put on Christ in baptism, we are declaring that our life is not our own, and we live for Christ (Galatians 2:20, 3:27)! Do we truly believe that Christ is King (l Tm. 6:14-15)?? If we believe this, we will not argue or refuse to do what Christ tells us to do!!
This is the result of Demas turning from God and turning to the world (Il Tim. 4:10; Hebrews 6:4-6)! Peter said that Christians who turn from God like Demas did are like a dog turning to his own vomit or a sow that had been washed that then turned back to the mire (Il Pet. 2:21-22). Hebrews 10:26-31 shows us that it is a fearful thing to stand in opposition to the God of Heaven!!
Demas was once a good friend and trusted companion of Paul (Colossians 4:14; Phile. 2324). While not everything is recorded about Demas, we do know that he was known and had influence on the Colossian brethren (Colossians 4:14). He was known by Philemon, and had influence upon Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke (Phile. 23-24). He also was known by Timothy (Il Tim. 4:10). In addition to this, there were untold individuals that were influenced by him. His leaving the Lord had an impact on many. Regardless of the reasons, Demas' influence for good was ruined when he turned and left the Lord for worldly, sinful pleasures! (Ezekiel 18:24, 26).
Though Demas is dead, his attitude lives in the hearts of men and women who turn from God and turn back to their lives in sin! Modern-day Demas' are those who say Imageand do not (like the Pharisees, Matthew 23:3-6, 6:5, 16). Modern-day Demas' are those who will not sacrifice the old man (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 3:1-10). They "resurrect" the old man and willfully sin time and time again! Modern-day Demas' are "fairweather" Christians. They are only faithful to God when they "feel like it." There is no difference between them and Demas (Il Tim. 3:4). Modern-day Demas' are those who forget who is the master and who is the slave. Some think that they can simply "pick and choose" what they will obey and leave the rest out. These people have forgotten the Lord who bought them (Romans 6:16-18; Il John 9-11)!!
Are you on the verge of being a modern-day Demas? The Bible says it is possible (l 1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 6:1; Il Pet. 3:17). Though the Bible is not more specific than to say, Demas "loved this present world, " it doesn't have to be more specific. Anything that takes our focus off of God is based in "this present world" (l John 2:15-17)!! An erring child of God can return to God if he or she has been unfaithful (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). So long as we have this day, it is not too late to return to the Lord! Don't harden your heart, and turn away from the truth!!