Don’t Let Your Good Friend Down - Life Lessons From Demas

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading


Demas focused on the temporal instead of the eternal

Demas chose the temporary benefits of this world rather than the riches of heaven. As the NLT translates it, Demas “loves the things of this life” (2 Timothy 4:10). We don’t know the details of Demas’ situation, but it is evident that Demas decided that what Satan has to offer in this life is better than what God has to offer in the next.

The tragedy of Demas is still being lived out today by those who choose the temporary benefits of this world over the eternal riches of heaven. We should have an eternal perspective on life and not love this present world system that is out to trip us up and draw us away from our love for the Lord and His Word. This world system is passing away, so this should encourage us to live for the Kingdom to come and eternal rewards.

There is considerable speculation as to exactly what may have motivated Demas to have "gone to Thessalonica" at this very critical time when he was so desperately needed by the apostle Paul in Rome. Some biblical scholars suggest he simply feared for his own personal safety; that he was afraid to make the ultimate sacrifice for his faith, as Paul was clearly prepared to do.

Other scholars disagree with the view that Demas was a coward and fled to preserve his life. They see his departure as being motivated more by lust for material gain; a quest for the secular, rather than the spiritual. "Not lack of courage, but a lust for materialism seemed to be his downfall" (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible). This certainly seems to be corroborated by the insight provided by Paul -- "Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica" (2 Tim. 4:10). Many Bible scholars feel that this phrase suggests that “the prospect of worldly advantage was the motive which determined Demas. No doubt the busy commercial center of Thessalonica offered many opportunities for success in business, and love of money may have been the besetting sin of this professing Christian" (Dr. James Hastings, Dictionary of the Apostolic Church). 

Why do people fall in love with the present world? It is because we think home is in this present world. However, to the Christian that understands what Jesus has done on the cross, home is wherever Jesus is. 

If our relationship with Christ is less than 100% committed, we could find ourselves headed for Thessalonica, too. That's the choice that lies before us. Where are your eyes — on Heaven or on Thessalonica? Where is your love — on Jesus or on this present world? If you're facing the wrong way, you need to get right, like John Mark did. And if you're facing the right way, you need to commit to staying there, come what may. So wherever you're at, you need to make a decision.

Quote: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” C. S. Lewis

Prayer: Lord help me not to focus on the things of this world, which are temporal. But help me to be willing to sacrifice what this world offers for the joys of heaven. Amen