We must consider the situation. Paul was in prison awaiting his execution. This was his final epistle. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Ti. 4:6-7).
Demas was one of Paul’s co-workers. He had ministered with Paul in Colosse (Col. 4:14). He was mentioned in Paul’s epistle to Philemon (Phm. 1:24).
Demas is named. When Paul spoke of Demas’ apostasy, he used his name. He didn’t speak of him anonymously.
Demas is named publicly. Paul wanted Timothy and everyone reading his epistle in the churches to know about Demas. Paul didn’t try to hide what Demas had done. He wanted everyone to know about it as a sharp, public warning.
Demas forsook Paul. Demas forsook God’s calling, but he also forsook Paul. When a man departs from God’s call on his life, he forsakes his fellow church members and co-workers. He is a bad example to them. He lets them down. He discourages their hearts. He leaves them to do his share of the work. Demas cared only for himself.
Demas loved this present world. Paul tells us the secret of Demas’ heart. We don’t know what Demas told people. Perhaps he told them that he needed to pay off some debts. Perhaps he told them that he was weary and needed a rest. Perhaps he told them that Christ’s service was too hard. Perhaps he told them that someone had offended him. Perhaps he told them that Paul was too strict. We don’t know what Demas was saying, but God exposes the true motive of his heart. He loved this present world. That world is described in 1 John 2:16 as “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” We know that this didn’t happen overnight. Demas had loved the world secretly in his heart for some time. He had pretended to love Christ and to serve Christ, but his real love was for the world. Instead of rejecting that love and turning from it, he secretly nurtured it. Finally he followed his true heart.
Demas departed into Thessalonica. We aren’t told exactly what Demas did there. It was a prosperous place. Perhaps he engaged in some business practice to enrich himself or to pay debts. Thessalonica was a place of worldly pleasure. We can have no doubt that Demas engaged in those pleasures.
Demas ruined his testimony. He sold his calling for a bowl of soup like Esau. His name is enshrined in Scripture as a warning to all. Demas’ deed is recorded in Scripture. God called him by the gospel, and he said yes to Christ, and God called him to the ministry, but he turned away. That is a wicked deed. It is no small thing.
In contrast, we see Timothy. He remained steadfast to the end. He continued to be Paul’s faithful co-worker. He kept the faith. He soldiered on in God’s power. He never turned aside from God’s calling. He continued preaching God’s Word (2 Ti. 4:2). He rejected the apostasy (2 Ti. 4:3-4). He watched in all things and endured afflictions and did the work of an evangelist and made full proof of his ministry (2 Ti. 4:5). When he had fears, he conquered them by faith in God (2 Ti. 1:7). When he had worldly temptations, he fled them and overcame them by following righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Ti. 2:22).
Timothy’s Christian reputation shone brightly in this world and it will shine brightly forever. His name is enshrined in Scripture as a good example for all to follow.
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Way of Life Literature
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