A Costly Love Affair

by Gene Taylor

"For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world" (2 Tim. 4:10). In this passage we find the third and final mention of Demas in Scripture. In Colossians 4:14 he is listed as one sending greetings to the church at Colosse. In Philemon 24 he is named as a fellow-worker of Paul. In 2 Timothy 4, though, he is identified as a deserter from the Lord's work because he "loved this present world."

We are not told whether his love for the world was centered on any one thing. We are told only that he loved it and what that love for the world caused him to do. Christians are commanded not to love the world (1 John 2:15-17).

We often speak of "costly love affairs" because those affairs cause homes to be broken, children to suffer, reputations to be ruined, wealth to be sacrificed, etc. Yet, none has ever been costlier than the love affairs Demas and others like him have had with the world.

Loving the world carries the highest price one can pay for anything: to be without God and without hope (Eph. 2:12). Continued fellowship with God requires walking with Him in His will (1 John 1:5-7).

Friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God (Jas. 4:4). Anyone who loves the world does not have the love of the Father in him.

The one who claims to be a Christian but who flirts with the world is only deceiving himself. He must be made to realize the great cost of unfaithfulness -- his soul (Matt. 16:26).

In addition to hurting himself, Demas did great damage to the cause of Christ. In abandoning it, he deprived it of a devoted worker and robbed it of all the good he might have accomplished had he remained faithful. We can only wonder how many lives he could have helped if he had stayed loyal to the Lord.

There is also the matter of his influence. Others, most likely, became disheartened and discouraged by his example. He was probably a discouragement to his family and friends for no one can do as he did without encouraging others to do the same (Prov. 1:10-15). Like every willful sinner, he crucified the Son of God anew and put Him to an open shame (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:29).

Demas robbed the world of the flavor of righteousness imparted unto it by godly living. He snuffed out another desperately needed light in a sin-darkened world (Phil 2:15).

Someone has said, "Every 'Demas' who leaves the truth makes it a little more difficult for some 'Cornelius' to learn the truth or some 'Timothy' to be reared in it."

Demas' love affair with this world was certainly costly. Most tragically, if there was no genuine repentance on his part, it cost him his soul (Matt. 16:26). Doing as he did hurts all and profits no one. Do not make the mistake of Demas. Do not love this present world.