Almost every character of whom we read in the Word of God is known for something; each is associated with some deed of glory and honour, or of shame and dishonor. The subject of this study is Demas, who is mentioned in Colossians 4:14. Here was a man who lived and worked with Apostle Paul but who afterwards, like John Mark deserted him. When Paul wrote this Colossian letter, all was well but things had tragically changed when, some four years later, he wrote to Timothy. 2 Timothy 4:10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia”. Demas had been a man of great privilege. He had been converted at Thessalonica, most likely through the ministry of St. Paul. Added to this, he actually worked with the great apostle. Though he was so privileged, he suffered a serious spiritual breakdown; and we must remember that his backsliding started in his heart before it became manifest in his life. Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. What was the cause of his going back? In Demas’ case, the cause was worldliness, but there are other scriptural reasons why people go back:-

1. LOVE FOR THE WORLD

2 Timothy 4:10 warns us of the snare of worldliness. This does not necessarily mean that he attended places of worldliness, for it is possible to be a worldly Christian without ever participating in the world’s pleasures.

Worldliness is everything around us which excludes the Lord Jesus Christ. Demas probably began to adopt the world’s standards; possibly he began to view missionary endeavor from the world’s standpoint and found himself asking, “Is it worth it?”, and consequently he lost the heavenly vision it is sad when the world’s icy grip begins to affect a Christian. Consider the serious words in I John 2: 15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him”.

2. SEVERE PERSECUTION AND TESTING

Matthew 24:9 -10” Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated

 of all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another”.

    Is this a commentary upon the experience of Demas? It frequently happens that those who have trusted Jesus Christ and have confessed their faith in Him falter when the fires of persecution begin to burn. Many young believers who have been nurtured in a Christian home and Church discover when they leave home to go to college or to work out in the world, that their faith is very severely tested. Some, like Demas turn back! All such tested ones need our prayers, (not our criticism), and all the encouragement we can give them.

3. FALSE TEACHERS

 It is improbable that this was true in the case of Demas Mathew 24:11And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many”.    

Though there were many in his day, as in ours, who were sidetracked by false teachers. Be on your guard and

be careful about the subtle endeavor of some Jehovah’s Witness, Christadelphian, Christian Scientist, Seventh

Day Adventist or Spiritualist. They should not turn you from your hope and from the simplicity that is in

Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.

4. FORSAKING THE HOUSE OF GOD

When those who have at one time loved the Lord begin to “Cool off” in their love and zeal. Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”. It is usually detected by their less frequent attendance at the services of their church. How many folk used to go to church, be at the prayer meeting, attend the Bible study, or used to be a keen worker for the Lord? Their spiritual experience is now all in the past tense like Demas, they have gone back.

5. INDULGING IN SOME SIN

 There is a solemn warning about this in I Timothy 1:19-20 “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which

 some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander;

whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme”. One “Little” sin harbored and

indulged in is enough to precipitate a headlong spiritual downfall. Give no ground to the enemy! “Keep short

accounts with God” and confess your sin to Him immediately! Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall

not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

6. FAILURE TO RECEIVE THE WORD OF GOD

Look up (John 6:66). “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with Him”.

It was when the Lord Jesus began to reveal some of the deeper truths concerning Himself and His mission that many turned back. The only way to go on in the Christian life is to receive the Word of truth as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us; not to do so is to go back, for there is no standing still. To live in disobedience is to do what Demas did – to experience a spiritual lapse.

7. DEFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST Some who turn back like Demas do so because they have never been truly born again; they have only professed to be Christians. They have never possessed Jesus Christ.

1. Paul was fully yielded to the will of God. Are we fully yielded to His will?

2. Paul lived in the light of the Second Advent. Do we live in the light of His near return?

3. Paul had absolute confidence in the Lord to deliver and to preserve him. This can

and should be our confidence also.

 

                     LET US PRESS ON TILL JESUS COMES!