A Tragic Love Affair

William C. Brownson

READ : 2 Timothy 4:9-10

For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. (v. 10)

Though Paul has no regrets about his ministry, he is not without pain and sorrow. What hurts him most deeply is the loss of close friends. We don’t know why Crescens and Titus have gone away—perhaps sent on some errand of ministry, as Tychicus was. But Demas, Paul writes, has deserted him. Demas had been mentioned in two of the apostle’s other letters as a “fellow-worker,” along with Luke, “the beloved physician.” This man had apparently been in Paul’s inner circle, and now has turned his back on an imprisoned friend.

Paul laments this desertion most deeply because of the reason for it: “love for this present world.” Demas loves Paul no longer. He has found a new affection. He has succumbed to the spirit of the age and become a worldling.

The apostle knows that love for Christ and for “the world” or “world system” cannot co-exist in any heart. They are mutually exclusive. Not only has Paul lost a friend; he fears that Jesus has lost a faithful follower. For those who love the Lord, can any loss be more grievous than that?


Lord, may we never betray you and your people by loving this present age more!