A Sad Epitaph

Bruce Hoffman

READ : 2 Timothy 4:9-18

At the Haunted Mansion in Disney World a tombstone reads: “Here lies brother Dave, he chased a bear into a cave.” Such a statement causes us to smile because of the clever rhyming surrounding Dave’s last mistake. The life of Demas (at one time a co-laborer with Paul) might produce one of the saddest tombstone inscriptions ever. Why?

Initially, Demas is called a “fellow worker” by Paul in Philemon 24 because he traveled with Paul, and sat with him in prison. There was a devotion to Jesus and his life GLOWED. But somehow, the GLOW faded into a GLIMMER! In Colossians 4:14, Paul warmly commends Luke, but only mentions Demas, implying that Paul was at a loss to say anything positive about him. His one- time avid co-worker was beginning to “cool” in his love for the Lord. Someone has said: “Spiritual collapse is seldom a blow-out; more often it is a slow leak.” That describes Demas.

Our verse today shows that Paul must say a spiritual GOOD-BYE to Demas. Demas has fallen in love with the pagan world and has deserted the gospel and Paul.

A sad epitaph, indeed! From GLOW to GLIMMER to GOOD-BYE! Learning from Demas, it’s absolutely necessary for each of us to make a regular check on our love for the Lord. Is your life on GLOW?


Lord, we confess we are often stuck at the “glimmer level.” Fan the flames until we are “aglow with the Spirit.” In Jesus’ name.