Think About This: “If the old man was something that could be lifted out, like an onion could be pulled out of a garden, then we’d all feel very proud of the fact that we’d be de-unionized and debunked. But the terrible part about crucifying the flesh, is that the flesh is you.” — A.W. Tozer
Posted on May 17, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“Timothy, please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.” – 2 Timothy 4:9-10 (NLT)
When I finished up my studies with Lancaster Bible College, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I had just turned 50 years old and I was finally a college graduate. Not too bad a feat for a guy who spent many years before that never finishing anything he ever started. About the only thing I could manage at one point was barely getting up in the morning to go to work and, even in that, I couldn’t stay at one job for any serious length of time. Basically, I had no idea how to be or stay committed to anything but to my own selfish self… and I was barely able to do that.
However, Jesus Christ radically changed the way I looked at making and keeping commitments. Matthew 5:33-37 says to me, that if you even have a sliver of doubt in the making of a vow or commitment don’t even bother, because if you change your mind and don’t keep your word you become a liar; it’s that simple. This is an important concept to understanding because when you find yourself reading Luke 14:25-33 you’re going to hear what Jesus says you must do in order for you to BE a disciple of His and not just giving Him your divine lip service.
“For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:7)
Our Bibles are full of guys (and gals) who find themselves on the wrong end of breaking a vow before God. Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:32- 5:11) are prime examples of what it looks like to get all caught up in the moment, make a huge commitment, only to change their minds once they saw the money their “selfless act” produced. It was as if they had gotten temporarily magnetized by the moving of the Holy Spirit amongst God’s people. Their heads may have been saying what an awesome thing they’re involved with, but once the world showed them how much value their stuff had, then the magnetic poles of their hearts collapsed.
“Luke, the beloved doctor, sends his greetings, and so does Demas.” – Colossians 4:14
We got another character in Scripture that had been temporarily magnetized by the moving of the Holy Spirit amongst God’s people. I’ve written about him in the past but every once in a while, he’s a good thing to bring up. Demas, who is sometimes called “Paul’s Judas,” sounded like he was on fire for the things of God and was totally on-board to be in service of Him, BUT as fast as he’s mentioned right along side of one of the most popular Gospels writers — POOF!!— he went back into Thessalonica. I don’t think there’s enough Bible verses written about him to even make a paragraph, but still, leave a popular ministry, and apparently, everyone knows about it.
However, there’s a part of me that now understands Demas. I mean, hanging out with the likes of a former wacked-out Pharisee who can start riots over statues can get very intense. But when the world shows that it punishes those who dare speak out against those statues, well, that changes things. I don’t see Demas as a guy who was afraid of The Gospel. I see him as a guy who was afraid of those who themselves are afraid of The Gospel, and wanted those to embrace The Gospel instead of buying a statue. After all, the bill comes due, always. Right?
John Phillips would say this of Demas, “The Holy Spirit matched Demas up with Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke to fortify him for the hour of temptation that lay ahead. He could have learned much from each of these men. He failed, though, to Take advantage of the opportunity. When the time of testing came, Demas the diligent became Demas the deserter.” Wow, this is like a Biblical shot to the gut ain’t it? As for the men that Phillips mentioned, I’m gonna do some research into them and I hope you would as well.
In the meantime, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you aren’t Demas material because you believe yourself strong in your walk. People punishing the faithful is part of the norm, especially in today’s world, and we’re never really quite braced for impact, aren’t we? So, when you read into Demas, I hope you don’t just see the surface, see what wasn’t mentioned about him. Was he a man of prayer? Was he a scholar of God’s Word? He served Paul, did he serve God’s children? Good questions to ask yourself before your magnetism collapses and you find yourself walking the road to Thessalonica. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at email@example.com.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;” – Hebrews 1:1-2