We have an example here of a person serving the Lord in his place with Apostle Paul. He was close to God and God’s people. He had a good position. In that time the people faced lots of persecution from the Roman Empire. They didn’t dwell on it. They had the privilege of being part of the early church. The man’s name was Demas. It’s sad. You can hear Paul’s sadness and see his tears as he says this.
II Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
Why people turn their back on Jesus….you’d think people wouldn’t do that. I’m thankful for those who keep serving. I’m also thankful for those who did turn their back but repented and came back to God. When I first got saved I backslid for about six months. I was still going to church but in my heart I had backslid. I thought I could enjoy the old life but I was miserable. I’m glad I turned back to God. This is a real possibility for all of us to get out of the will of God. Waywardness in the heart can become waywardness of life.
An example is Ananias and his wife Sapphira. They turned their back and lied to Paul and the Holy Spirit. Secretly they kept back part of the sale of land but said they gave it all to Paul. The Holy Spirit revealed their lie and they died. Would you ever think that the Apostles would turn their back? They could have but didn’t. Others did. Demas had been with Paul for years. We read of him in Philippians 4. There were several years between this chapter and II Timothy 4. He had been a longtime companion with Paul, Luke and Timothy. He was in fellowship with others. He could have been in an “inner circle” of companions of Paul like Luke and John Mark. Paul spoke of him like he was one of them. He mentioned him with a heart of love. They had confidence in Demas.
It’s a blessing of Christianity. Others have confidence in you and you in them. I need to be able to have confidence in you and you in me. It’s a blessed mutual confidence. The times Demas was mentioned were of mutual confidence. Something happened. All of a sudden Demas is gone. Paul said Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. He departed. He up and left. I get a feeling of “I don’t understand” from Paul. He went to Thessalonica. There was a church there but Paul said he went into the world, not to that church. He showed up in the crowd of sinners instead.
Please don’t say to yourself “I’d never do that.” We must walk cautiously and circumspectly lest Satan moves us from our place. Discouragement, barriers in our prayer life, a wall against others. These lead to that. Nobody gave Demas a reason to leave. There may have been disagreements. We know we don’t agree on everything with anyone. Nita and I disagree several times a day. Demas could have been in a disagreement with someone but that was no reason to leave God. Maybe he disagreed with Paul on something. We all do our best to understand the Word of God. If we seek him he will show us. We just don’t know what happened with Demas, but it wasn’t reason to leave.
When we get weak we get discouraged. We take things to heart more that we would ordinarily do. Don’t let it get you down if people make it hard to be dedicated to God. We’ll never be guilty of serving the Lord too much. Whatever it was, the sin came when he didn’t turn it over to the Lord. God had not failed Demas. Rough times come. Hardship comes but the same hardships test us. We’ll all be tested. Remember that if you don’t have much of a spiritual life there isn’t much to test. Testing is assurance of salvation. Take the questions to God.
When Demas was saved, he was saved out of this world. At times the world looks and sounds appealing. We will be tempted. Temptation is common to all people. All of us are still tempt-able. Demas couldn’t blame the world for being tempted but he could blame himself for turning back to the world. There are things in this world that are not wrong and sinful but we can’t give place to the devil. Resist him and he will flee from us. Love God more. Love church more. Love what God gives, not what the world gives. That’s what you were saved from. Demas gave the world too much attention and he departed.
Maybe at first he thought he’d just take a vacation from being a Christian and come on back when he was finished. You cannot play around with your Christian life. Don’t think you can play with sin. The devil got to Demas. We leave him with Paul saying he forsook the Lord and departed back into the world. I don’t want that said of me. Let’s all get closer to one another. Get closer to God. Make up your mind to do that everyday.
If you ever turn your back on anything, make sure it’s the devil and this old world.