Don’t be a Demus

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Hey y'all its good to be with all of you this evening.
For those who do not know me my name is James Mauney
I have the privilege of serving as the Student Pastor at Parkwood Baptist right down the road. That role means I lead our 12 year old through 25 year olds.
I have two awesome daughters. Joanna who is 9 months old and June who is 4 years old. And I am married to my wife Stephanie.
When Katie Beth and Kevin both asked me to speak here tonight it wasn't hard to settle in on a topic.
A lot of times preachers complain about being told to “preach anything” because we love the Bible and theres lots of things that we want to preach so only having one message makes it tough.
But for you tonight I knew where I wanted to go. and its because this is something that I have personally experienced. Im 31 years old. It wasn't really that long ago that I was a college student.
A young believer surrounded by friends who loved Jesus and who wanted to build the church, be missionaries, pastors, worship leaders.
and as I went through college and the first few years of adulthood and marriage I began to notice. The people who I had labored beside. The people who I had worshipped besides. They were falling away from the faith.
In todays world we have a fancy term that makes it sound way cooler than it is. But we call it deconstructing.
And really what it is. If you look at church history the term being called deconstruction is really what the rest of history would called becoming Apostate or recanting of the faith.
Tik Tok and Instagram have romanticized deconstruction to make it appealing and freeing.
What some have called progressive Christianity has tried to take the concepts of deconstruction and tie it to some tenants and rituals of faith and say that it is true.
But in the end you just have people who overall have walked away from the faith and who no longer believe Jesus is the Lord of their life.
So I want to take a look at a Biblical character who is known for his leaving of the faith.
And No its not Judas.

Who is Demas?

Paul in three of his letters mentions a man by the name of Demas.
And I want you to see we are going to read all three of these mentions and see how things are changing and then I want to dive into Pauls final word about Demas.
Philemon 23–25“23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
Paul is pretty nice here and for Demas he is being lumped into some good company here.
Epaphras was suffering for his faith. What a noble thing. He’s alone in his own verse.
But then you have these four guys individually named as key leaders in the early church.
Mark, y’all know him. The writer of the Gospel of Mark. One of the original 12. He’s a big deal.
Aristarchus, he’s mentioned in the book of Acts. He’s one of Pauls close friends who has traveled with him on these missionary journeys.
Demas is mentioned next. and after Demas is Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts.
So Demas is in really good company here.
I imagine that Philemon comes from a time when it seemed like Demas was on fire for Jesus.
Next we Demas appear in Colossians 4:14 “14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.”
By this point things have begun to change.
Paul tells the church the Luke the Physician greets them.
That a noble and respectable way to talk about Luke.
Paul is reminding them of Lukes status.
and then he just adds on Demas.
and finally we see Demas mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:10
Now yall before we read this in 2 Timothy 4:10 I want to set the scene for you.
Actually I want to try something. I want all of you to close your eyes.
this is way outside of my comfort zone.
But I just want us to really try and understand what Paul is writing to Timothy.
2 Timothy is the LAST letter written by Paul.
And he writes this in roman prison cell. Most likely this was an underground cell.
So I want you to picture like you are in a cave. the walls around you are cold rocks.
You here the occasion drip of water coming from somewhere above you.
You hear the cries of your fellow prisoners.
You have no jacket. No change of clothes.
You are alone. Desperately alone.
All you desire is your Bible and a friend.
keep your eyes clothes and picture yourself writing these words.
2 Timothy 4:9–15 “9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.”
You can open your eyes.
Soon After writing these words Paul would be martyred for his faith.

9. As He approached death Paul desire the sweet fellowship of other believers.

Look at Paul desires here in his end of life.
For fellowship
For a jacket
For his books
AND ABOVE All His Scriptures!
Do you love Gods Word like this?

10: Demas was in love with the World.

This is the common theme of those who deconstruct.
They want to follow Jesus until it means dying to the World.
Jesus tells us that if we want to follow him we have to bear our cross. We have to die to the world.
Demas didnt want that.
He wanted all the benefits of claiming Christ with none of the denial that comes with following Christ.

Mark the Anti Jesus v11

In the depressing Testimony or lack there of of Demas there is a glimmer of hope.
Paul say Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
Now Mark was unique.
He was the first to desert Paul.
During Pauls first missionary trip with Barnabus. Mark fled town and returned home. He gave up. (Acts 13)
We dont know why Mark went home but what we know is that it really soured Paul.
Barnabas asks Paul if Mark can rejoin them in Acts 15 and Paul says no.
But here at the end of Pauls life he is asking for fellowship with Mark.
Mark has been reconciled with Paul and fully trusted. Not only that the guys who quite ministry Paul now says is useful for ministry.
We need to learn from both Demas and Mark.
Demas started well. He was on fire for his college ministry.
But he doesn’t appear to end well.
Having once fought alongside of Paul in kingdom battles, he seems to have sided with the enemy.
So the warning is this: “Be soberminded; be watchful. Our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
Our enemy is very real and very crafty. He threatens and seduces. And even those who start strong and are leaders, like Demas, are susceptible to his deception.
Mark, on the other hand, gives us hope. He had a weak start.
He didn’t appear to have the right stuff. He disappointed his leaders and friends by leaving them to bear the heat of battle while he went home.
But Mark ended well. At some point he rejoined the battle and proved a faithful, trusted, useful warrior.
And, would even go on to write on of our four Gospels.
We don’t know the last word on Demas. I hope that he repented in the end. But because of Mark, we know that failure doesn’t have to be the last word for us.
4 Ways to Stand Strong in the Faith
stay in fellowship with other believers
thats a church
thats christian friends
Dont get stuck in the World
Live in the word
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