Dan Corner

Demas, Another Spiritual Casuality

Demas in the bible was a traveling companion of the Apostle Paul (Col. 4:14; Philemon 24). Together Paul and Demas labored, enduring various troubles and persecution, to extend the kingdom of God. This speaks highly of Demas at that point in time, for Paul was very selective and careful with whom he labored for the Lord. This is apparent since he rejected John (also called Mark) for his past unfaithfulness (Acts 15:37-41). However, in Paul's last letter before his own martyrdom, he informed Timothy of the following change in Demas:

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For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica (2 Tim. 4:10, NIV).
The Wuest expanded translation reads:
Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it.

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Demas Loved The World

This translation clearly states that at the time of Demas' departure from Paul:

*(1) He loved this world which caused him to desert Paul. [The Greek shows what Demas came to love is that of which Satan is god (2 Cor. 4:4)!]

*(2) He didn't love the world like this earlier in his Christian life. In other words, his heart condition was different at the time of Paul's last letter. Apparently, Demas did not guard his heart (Prov. 4:23). Somehow he got deceived which naturally affected his behavior. Remembering all this about Demas, let Scripture speak to you more extensively about him:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 Jn. 2:15, NIV).
The seriousness of not loving the Father is evident from Jam. 1:12; 2:5 and Jn. 5:42. In other words, this reflects that one is not saved when he doesn't love the Father. Demas degenerated to this state. Eph. 2:1,2 goes on to say:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (NIV).
The word translated ways (aion) is the same word found in 2 Tim. 4:10, which is also what Demas came to love. The word translated world (kosmos) is the same word found in 1 Jn. 2:15! Jam. 4:4 supplements all this by adding:
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God (NIV).
James was, in part, writing to a group of spiritual adulterers. (Compare this to Jer. 3:20 and Ezek. 6:9.) Notice how James declares that one can become an enemy of God [again]. Other translations similarly say:
Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God (NRSV).
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (NASB).
One is either saved or unsaved; with Jesus or against him; a child of God or an enemy of God. Now, for one to become an enemy of God must imply he was, just before that spiritual condition, a child of God. There is no other spiritual condition in which to be. Jam. 4:4, therefore, means such go from enemy of God to child of God to enemy of God again! Heb. 10:27 adds to this by saying:
... raging fire that will consume the enemies of God (NIV).
So if one becomes an enemy of God from his former spiritual condition of being saved, then he can't be saved any more and raging fire is awaiting him, unless he repents. James cites the danger in regarding the very thing that happened to apostate Demas, that is, a Christian can come to love the world and show himself no longer saved. Also, this is the answer for those who say, based on the Old Testament, that "Christ is married to the backslider," but fail to say:
I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries (Jer. 3:8, NIV).

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