Demas Has Forsaken Me
I have often been struck by the scripture in 2 Timothy 4:10, where it says “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world”. This scripture has haunted me over the years as a warning.
We don’t know very much about Demas, in fact he is only mentioned in two other places; Philemon 1:24 and Colossians 4:14. It seems that Demas was Paul’s co-worker and travelled with him on his missionary journeys. If Paul had just said, “Demas has left me to go and minister elsewhere” – that would have been fine, but when he added the words “having loved this present world” – what a tragedy!
I have been quite taken by a statement a doctor made to his patient who was listing their various ailments. He said, “Look, none of us are going to make it out of here alive”. How true!
Demas traded the eternal for the temporal. The Bible tells us that the earth and all that is in it is perishing. Demas travelled with Paul, ate with Paul, suffered persecution with Paul, and yet, he turned back. Where is he now? Where are the earthly pleasures that he thought more highly of? All gone with the wind, of course!
Jesus said in Matthew 10:38, “You must take up your cross and follow me and anyone looking back is not worthy of me”. How easy it is to start turning back. The draw of earthly attractions, the temptations of the flesh, and the weariness of the work can often cause people to turn back. It doesn’t happen in an instant, but bit by bit, people find disappointment and then attractions elsewhere cause them to turn.
I often reflect on the people I have known over the 53 years I have been a Christian and consider where they are now. Esau traded his birth right for a bowl of stew and Christians can trade their birth right often for something trivial that will not last. How sad that is!
But then there are others who press on and go from strength to strength, who despite disappointment and knocks and sometimes falling and failing, they pick themselves up and run the race. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul says we should be like that. Those who would win the prize have to show commitment, dedication and determination. I pray that it would never be said of me, “He left having loved this present world”. I have had the privilege of knowing some, and reading of others, who have run the race well and have now passed on to glory. It is from these whom I draw my inspiration. We have to be vigilant because sliding backwards requires no effort, where as moving forward requires our complete commitment.
Read more by Lord Edmiston