Philemon 1:23-24 (KJV)
There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
At the time Paul wrote this letter, Demas was still with him. This is significant because this is while Paul was in the Roman prison. So, I think it is safe to say that, at this point, the fate of Paul had not been determined.
- He wrote of Philemon’s preparing him a lodging.
- He trusted that the prayers of the believers might lead to his release.
But at some point, the situation changed. By the time Paul wrote Second Timothy, he knew that “the time of his departure [was] at hand.”
It was in this context that Paul wrote 2 Timothy 4:10 (KJV)
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; …
This context puts a new light on what Demas loved. It was his life. Paul was about to be executed for his faith. Demas forsook him, almost certainly, so as not to be next on the chopping block.
This also sheds light on the expectations of the Apostle. I think of his reaction to Mark when he left Paul and Barnabas. Paul was nearly unforgiving of a man who would quit under pressure. Though that was eventually resolved, Paul’s attitude toward those who left him in tough times did not change.
It seems to me that one lesson would be that, while we ought to always leave room for restoration, we should not go easy on those backing down from Christ.
 2 Timothy 4:6 (KJV)
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
To my readers:
Thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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