Summary: Using an important historical event in our nation as the illustration, this sermon deals with the dangers of allowing ourselves to be tempted with the things of this world.
Could You Become Another Demas?
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
5But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
9Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica--Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
It is a beautiful Fall day in 1962 and the sun is shining on an Air Force base runway in southern Florida. The silence of the scene is interrupted as a long-winged plane touches down on the runway and taxies to the hanger. A thousand planes a day go through this same routine, but this one plane’s payload is different from all the others. Its payload is just a few rolls of film, but the information on that film will shape the events of the world. It will shift the balance of power in the world. The film is transported to a top-secret laboratory and developed. It is sent to the Pentagon and then to the Oval Office in the White House.
One of the most upsetting burdens about being a pastor...
is watching people drop out of church.
Spiritual defection occurs when someone
abandons the Church and the people
that have been a part of fellowship and friendship for them.
It is a cycle that has been repeated over and over again
and it will continue to be this way until the Rapture occurs.
It begins with something called "backsliding".
Backsliding Can Happen To You.
People backslide gradually.
Like descending a stairway, they go down step by step.
It’s not something that happens all at once!
It begins with little concessions, little acceptances,
little indulgences, choosing to do what others are doing.
Sin is a powerful force.
Yet, it seldom comes at us like a charging bull.
Gently and slowly it seeks its way into the heart.
It hardens the heart day by day.
The person is usually unaware of the change that is going on.
I have had some friends who were greatly involved in the church!
They loved God with all of their hearts !
But some little thing began to grow in their hearts.
Ultimately, it totally separated them from God and the Church.
Spiritual defectors will be part of any church that exists.
It happens to church members!
Sometimes it even happens to pastors!
The Spiritual Defectors In The Bible
Judas Iscariot is one of the classic examples of backsliding.
He quit whatever it was he was doing and followed Jesus.
He spent roughly 3 years with Jesus.
He heard all of His teachings and sermons.
He saw the miracles Jesus performed.
He may have even performed a few miracles himself.
Matthew 10:1 says: And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
But we know that Judas Iscariot did backslide
He walked away from Jesus and the other disciples.
He betrayed the Lord
There is evidence that this didn’t suddenly happen to Judas.
We find that he was given a big responsibility.
Listen to John 12:3-6
Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
Obviously, they trusted Judas.
But Judas became obsessed with money!