Demas used to be a worker of God (Phm 24). Even Apostle Paul once addressed Demas as his fellow laborer (Col 4:14). But five years later, everything started to change. Demas turned from a faithful worker of God into a deserter of the ministry and a lover of the present world (2 Tim 4:10). How could such a worker of God forsake the ministry and love the world? It seems unbelievable—but could such a situation happen to us?
Apostle John instructs the believers "not to love the world or the things in the world" even though we live in it, for "if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 Jn 2:15). The "world" in the biblical context is defined as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16). Of course, we know that God's love is invaluable compared to these temporary lusts. Demas, too, must have known that God's love was greater than anything else. In fact, it was the love of the Father that compelled him to join the ministry with Paul. But because Demas did not keep the love of God in him, he began to love the world. After visiting the glamorous metropolis Thessalonica, he decided to forsake his ministry.
Perhaps when we first believe in Christ, we are compelled by His love to serve Him just as Demas did. As we begin to take the love of God for granted, however, we actually open ourselves to the love the world. The example of Demas serves as a warning for us: we need to ponder upon the love of Christ constantly, so that His love remains as a compelling force in us. Only then can we understand that the pleasures of the world are of temporary value and will pass away, "but he who does the will of God abides forever" (1 Jn 2:17).