for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.2 Timothy 4:10(NASB)
These sad and sombre words were written by Paul to Timothy, very close to the end of his ministry, when imprisoned in Rome. Demas was a fellow-believer and one of Paul's fellow-workers, and yet Demas later deserted the apostle because "he loved this present world" more than his life in Christ. How sad.
We do not know the reason for his return to the world. Maybe it was simply the destructive lure of the flesh or an outright disillusionment with the Christian faith. Christians were certainly being severely persecuted, but the pull of the world can also become destructive to a believer's soul.
Demas was saved, for he had trusted Christ as Saviour, but he had chosen to live in a wordly way. There are so many ways that any one of us can back-slide into carnality, become embroiled in legalism, be enticed back into worldly lusts, or become disenchanted with our Christian walk - if we are not firmly grounded in the truth of Scripture.
Let each one of us take heed of this sad and sombre tale of Demas' desertion from the truth, lest like him we should fall from grace, return to the things of this life, and in so doing, lose our heavenly inheritance (not a loss of salvation but a loss of reward).
Let each of us conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the good news of Christ - striving together for the faith and praising our Father in heaven: "Knowing that there is laid us for me a crown of righteousness - which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
Heavenly Father, thank You that I am accepted in the Beloved and eternally secure in You, and that even when I prove faithless, You remain faithful. But Father, I want to finish the race set before me, hear You say, "well done good and faithful servant," and receive that glorious crown of righteousness. So help me, I pray, to stand fast in the evil day, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.