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« What Do You Say to Death? | Main | Free Speech »

What Demas Didn’t Know About This Present World 

“For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” 2 Timothy 4:10 

Paul surrounded himself with fellow laborers; people who shared his life in the gospel. Demas was part of the team.  Imagine them rolling out a map and charting their course. Imagine breaking new ground for the gospel! Hear the exciting talk of establishing churches and witnessing great miracles! Taking the truth where people had never heard of the name of Jesus before. No doubt, Demas was initially swept up into the visionary excitement that drove the Apostle Paul. 

But Demas had an itch that he wanted to scratch.  He saw the giddy laughter, the fine colonnaded homes with marble porticoes.  He heard the talk and the music.  The fashion, style, pleasure, excitement. Intellectual stimulation, career opportunities, wealth, fame, approval, acceptance—all of this fascinated him. Demas became so awestruck, so captivated by everything that was “out there” that he made a critical decision:  Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present world. 

You always gravitate towards whatever or whoever you love. An irresistible pull, a subconscious or even unconscious draw, a mandated motion beckons you on. You can chart the course of Isaac and Rebecca, or Jacob and Rachel and see the unmistakable pattern; You can trace the movements of Samson and Delilah or David and Bathsheba and you will see the same, familiar drama unfold.  Be careful what you love; you will go there and live…or maybe die. Be careful who you love; those are the arms that will embrace you…or they might crush you. Be careful whose roses you accept…they will lay claim to your heart.

Demas had expectations of this present world. Fulfillment:  I’ll be the man I never was; Happiness:  Everyone looks so happy, they’re having so much fun; Security:  They know who they are; they know what they want; Love:  I can see love written all over their faces.  Irresistible allurement.  But, if we love, don’t we want someone to love us back?  It matters if someone loves us. 

What Demas didn’t know:  That this present world wouldn’t love him back! Hey, Satan! I gave you my virginity.  Why are you rejecting me? I threw away my morals and my reputation for you. You don’t even care. I hurt my parents, my pastor and my friends for you. And now you laugh at me. I sacrificed my dreams and goals for you. Why are you kicking me in the teeth? This is how the world operates: First, you come in search of whatever turns you on…It’s that mirage…that elusive dream…that shadowy figure just ahead, out of reach… Always then, never now. Always coming, never arriving. Always promising, never fulfilling. Always asking, never giving. Come on… I know you took a drink, but that’s not enough.  You’ve got to do more. I know you smoked one, but that’s not enough.  There’s the rest of the pack. I know you fooled around sexually a little, but you gotta do more… But the world never loves you back; it only asks for more and more and more. This is why your pastor, your youth leader, your Sunday School teacher keep preaching at you.  They know the nature of the beast.  

Does God love you back?  Not really. Surprised?  Jesus doesn’t love you back because he loved you first. God always takes the initiative in love. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8.  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19

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