The Tragedy of Demas

Thursday night, I was honored to lead worship and preach for Lander’s BCM.  I felt pretty clear concerning the direction for the message, but I knew it was going to be a bit different.

I wanted to focus on the biblical character Demas.  If you haven’t heard about him, you are not alone.  He’s not that famous.  We don’t know that much about him, but what we do know about him speaks volumes.

There are 3 verses that we have concerning him and they are all in the closing remarks of some of Paul’s epistles.  Here they are (in chronological order):

  • Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.  -Col. 4:14 (This shows him that Demas is in a league of serious missionaries and evangelists, he runs with the big dogs Paul and Luke.)
  • Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.  -Philemon 1:23-24  (Demas was with Paul during imprisonments and was listed in an important list of church leaders and workers for the ministry.  Obviously, he was known and important).
  • Do your best to come to me soon.  For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.  -2 Timothy 4:9-10  (And this is where the tragedy begins).

While Paul awaited his execution for following Christ, in his deepest point of need, his friend and co-laborer left him because he loved the world too much.    My concern is that his legacy runs deep in our veins and we can walk away too easily if we are not careful.

I used Buddy the Elf as one of the illustrations last night.  While he wanted to ride up the escalator to see what was in the upper story of the mall, he also didn’t want to leave the comfort of the ground he was standing upon.  He attempted to do both and ended up stretching him thin.

This is the picture that I see of so many college students today – trying to live for Jesus and also enjoy the pleasures of this world.  They try to see how close they can get to sin without ever actually doing it.  My prayer is that on Lander, and whoever is reading this, will begin to decipher if they are loving this present world and forsaking Jesus in any area of their lives.