Demas, a Reverted Saint

Monday, September 12, 2011

“Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia” (2 Timothy 4:9,10 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is found near the conclusion of Paul’s final epistle. Recall that Paul is imprisoned and awaiting execution. He urges Timothy to come visit him in Rome, for “only Luke is with me” (verse 11). Beside Luke and the Lord Jesus Christ, Paul is alone. Today’s Scripture tells us that Titus, Crescens, and Demas have left. While we know not why Titus and Crescens are absent, Demas’ nonattendance is (sadly) explained.

Years earlier, Paul wrote to the believers in Colosse. One of his concluding remarks was, “Demas, greet you” (Colossians 4:14). He also wrote in Philemon 1:24 that Demas was one of his “fellow-labourers.”

Today’s Scripture says Demas “loved this present world”—that is not a good thing. Galatians 1:4 speaks of “this present evil world.” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is “the god of this world.” Demas had been helpful to Paul in the ministry, but as the years lapsed, Demas lost interest in the things of God.

Demas, evidently, reverted to his former lifestyle. Something evil had captivated his attention, and he abandoned Paul. Instead of standing beside his brothers in Christ, Luke and Paul, Demas fled Rome and was now in Thessalonica. While Demas never lost his salvation, he did trade his eternal wealth in Christ for the cheap, empty “pleasures” of this evil world.

How sad it is to see newly saved people return to their old, wild lifestyles. It is quite tragic to see children raised in the grace movement who later, as adults, abandon the rightly divided King James Bible for religion or a perverted modern Bible.

We need to “hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21b). Let Christ live His life in and through you as you study and believe the King James Bible rightly divided, and you will not end up like poor Demas, who discarded God’s riches for the world’s rubbish.

Joseph, a Man of Faith

Sunday, September 4, 2011

“By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22 KJV).

The book of Genesis closes with: “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” (50:24-26).

Prior to Jacob’s death, he told his son Joseph: “God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Behold I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 48:3,4).

When Joseph died, Israel was in Egypt (recall that Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, and Joseph’s family escaped famine in Canaan by joining him in Egypt; Genesis chapters 37-46). Joseph had faith in what God had promised his great-grandfather Abraham, his grandfather Isaac, and his father Jacob. Israel would eventually leave Egypt to forever return to Canaan, the Promised Land.

Some 140 years after Joseph died, Moses led the nation Israel out of Egypt. The Bible says, “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you” (Exodus 13:19).

Through the eyes of faith, Joseph foresaw the day—over a century into the future—when his remains would lie in Canaan’s soil. God had been faithful to Israel, delivering them from Egypt as He promised. Through the eyes of faith, we see ourselves already in heaven. God will be just as faithful in delivering us.