Have you ever considered Demas?
Have you ever paid much attention to Demas, a person mentioned only three times in the New Testament, yet he represents a powerful message for us. The first mention of Demas is in the book of Philemon, written about 59-61 AD.
Philemon 1:22-24 (KJV)
22: But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. 23, There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus 24, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers
Here Demas is first mentioned and described not as a “fellow prisoner” as Epaphras was, but he was, at the least, in the accompaniment of the Apostle Paul. Someone who was working alongside of the Apostle during his imprisonment. He is not described as a “fellow prisoner” so it is logical to assume he was free to come and go and was probably very useful in Paul’s ministry.
The second mention of Demas is in the letter to the Colossians written about 62-63 AD so Demas has been with Paul about 2 years or more at that time.
Colossians 4:14-15 (KJV)
14:Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. 15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
He is mentioned only by name, not as a “fellowlabourer.”
Then he is mentioned for the third and final time in the 2nd letter to Timothy. But first look at some things in 1st Timothy to “set the stage” so to speak.
1st Timothy was probably written upon Paul’s release from prison after which he spent two years in his own house evangelizing. Probably written around AD 63. The Scriptures tell us that he spent two years in his own house, then most likely upon returning to prison he wrote 2nd Timothy. There is some evidence that may have traveled to the city of Nicopolis as mentioned in Titus 3:12 but no supportive evidence that he traveled anywhere else as put forth by some Bible scholars.
When Paul was returned to prison to await execution, he wrote the 2nd letter to Timothy, by all reckoning this was in approximately 66 AD which puts Demas in Paul’s presence and ministry
along side of Paul’s “fellowlabourers” for almost 4-5 years or more, including time when Paul was in Prison and out of prison. Could Demas, or any other person for that matter, abide with Paul for four years or more, attending to his needs, being a fellowlabourer and not hear the Gospel message? Think about it, could someone spend 4 years or more in the accompaniment of the world’s greatest Apostle and not see God working in the form of healings, miracles, and lives changed? I think not. I think Demas saw the hand of God over and over, he heard the Gospel message untold number of times, by being a witness on the scene or by Paul’s personal conversations with him. He knew what he should do to become saved. Also by indication Demas never adequately responded to that message for in 2nd Timothy we read and learn that Demas has forsaken Paul.
2 Timothy 4:9-10 (KJV)
9: Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: 10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
Demas has forsaken me! The word translated forsaken means to abandon. Like one would abandons survivors of a shipwreck or some calamity; to take up ones goods during the night and slip away into the darkness without anyone knowing. (A gathering of peacocks is called a “muster”) The Bible doesn’t tell us but I think that Demas decided to leave Paul as Paul was put back in prison to await his execution. We know that from the following passage:
2 Timothy 4:6-7 (KJV)
6, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Demas had to have been with Paul during some of his first imprisonment and now Paul is being returned to prison to be put to death and possible all who are with him as “co-conspirators.” It was most likely at this point that Demas thought “Oh, no, I am not going trough this again, they might execute me too” and he then departed, or as the Word says left Paul “forsaken.” Why? The apostle answers that question for us, it was because he “loved this present world.” by all indications Demas was lost, he never accepted Christ as his Savior despite all the opportunities he had.
“Because he loved this present world.” The Apostle could see by discernment Demas’ spiritual condition and was thereby able to state that he loved this present world. Consider 1st John 2:15-17.
1 John 2:15-17 (KJV)
15: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17, And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Is It possible for someone to attend church, be a participant in its activities and affairs and still be lost? Yes, because there is a vail over their heart that prevents them from seeing the need for Jesus as their savior.
. 2 Corinthians 3:13-14 (KJV)
13, And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14, But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. The vail that prevented Israel from seeing Jesus as the Messiah is the same vail over everyone up to today. That vail is unbelief. The vail was not only over Israel, but is over everyone and can take many forms. The “vail” is anything (or person) that overrides the truth of who Jesus was and what He offered. It is the object of faith or trust that comes between the hearer and faith in Jesus.
1) For the Israelites it is was their ancestry, they trusted in being descendants of Abraham. Didn’t Jesus say to them; Matthew 3:9 (KJV)
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
2) For the Pharisees it was there knowledge of the law and their self-righteousness.
3) For others it can be church membership and good works. No matter how faithful you are, how much you give of labor on behalf of the church, it counts for nothing if you don’t have Christ in your heart. The truth is that whatever the vail is for you, you put it there upon yourself by relying on, by trusting in anything other than Jesus Christ. Why? Because the god of this age has blinded them that they may not see. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). That is why Jesus spoke in parables so that those that had “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” would have that vail pierced by the Holy Spirit and respond. For others who had no interest the vail remained. Even a little spark as smoking flax in the heart of the hearer Jesus would not put out.
4)For Pontius Pilate and King Agrippa the vail was their career or position of authority.
5)For the rich young ruler it was his wealth.
Demas is an example of just that. Demas’ vail was the love of this present world.
Is there still a vail over your heart, Do you know Jesus as your Savior? How can you know that your are saved? Here’s one way:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
All things have become new! Does that mean that the 1994 Chevy pickup I drove to church in when I accepted Christ that when I go out to the parking lot it will now be a brand new 2021 Chevy pickup? Certainly not, the things that become “new” are spiritual things because you have new “born again’ spirit. You have a heart change and the desires and lusts of the old heart have been renewed in the “new man.” But be advised, although the “old man” is dead, he is still hanging around to tempt you into those former things of the world you took delight in. Now if you engage in them you will develop a sense of guilt, shame, or both as the Holy Spirt convicts you of sin. Then what do we do? We turn to Christ, our Savior and confess our sin, asking for forgiveness and help to avoid future instances and opportunities to sin again.
1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)
8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We should walk a new path, the old things have passed away and love should take its’ place, we should no longer think in terms of our liberty and what we can do, but in terms of what is best for my testimony. The Apostle Paul said:
1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)
12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
By not being expedient the word means “not profitable” or “of no gain.” Is it legal for me to drink alcohol, certainly! Is it expedient, certainly not! What would the effect on the community be if your pastor was seen coming out of one of the local establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, or be seen inside drinking with others? He wouldn’t have to be drunk, just engaging in the activity of drinking alcohol. I don’t think I have to answer that question for you.
What is new in your life? If the answer is “nothing,’ if you seek to satisfy only yourself, being ego-centric, not considering others or the church, then you need to revisit the cross and get a fresh understanding of salvation. Don’t you know that you are not your own, but have been bought with a price? And that price being the cruel, humiliating, torturous death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. You owe your new and eternal existence in glory to the Son of God, Jesus. He is your new master, having ransomed you off the slave block of sin, worship Him and give thanks to Him.