Demas was a man mentioned only three times in the New Testament. In Colossians 4:14 Paul mentioned his name, along with Luke, in sending a greeting. In Philemon 1:24, Demas is mentioned as a "fellow laborer." But in II Timothy 4:10, the third and last time Demas is mentioned in the Bible, this is what Paul had to say about him:
"For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world."
I wonder what happened to Demas. I mean, Paul was a full speed ahead Christian, and I doubt he surrounded himself with slackers and part-time Christians. I can only assume that Demas had a passion for Christ that was right up there with Paul's passion for Christ, otherwise Paul wouldn't have referred to him as "a fellow laborer." So why did Demas give up? Did he get discouraged after watching Paul get beat up, locked up, and ridiculed? Did he decide that living a life for Christ was just too hard? We know Paul performed miracles in Jesus' name. Did Demas lose the "awe" of these miracles? Or did his old life call too loudly? Did the things of the world shine so brightly that he just couldn't resist, or did he just burn out?
The Bible doesn't tell us exactly what happened, but we know he left Paul, and we can only assume he left his faith in Jesus. And as we read about Demas, it is so easy for us to criticize and say "if I was around somebody like Paul every day it would be EASY to keep the faith." Or, "if I'd seen all the miracles Demas saw I'd really be a serious Christian." We've all seen it happen in our own churches. People who come to church, get saved, attend three times a week for months, then you never see them again. And many times we are so quick to judge.
Yet how many times have we let "this present world" come between us and God? I have to be honest and say, for myself, too many times to count. As the Casting Crown's song says "but this time Jesus how can I be sure, I will not lose my follow through between the altar and the door." This song hits a little close to home. Can somebody say amen??
So today, instead of pointing a finger at someone else's Christian walk, I want my prayer to be "God, please help me not to be a Demas. Help me to love the spiritual things, more than the things of this world. Put in me a pure heart, a heart focused on serving You. Give me wisdom to know when the things of this world are chipping away at my spirit, and the humility to run to you for my strength. Thank You for never giving up on me. Amen."