Summary: A sermon on the effects of worldliness on a Christian
“Demas, The Disconnected Disciple”
Philemon 1:24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
Colossians 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
I was speaking to someone this past week and made the observation that I had never seen a time in all my years of pastoring like today with the subject of our message. I have titled this message “Demas, the Disconnected Disciple” for good reason. This is a case of a man who had been a follower of Jesus and a companion to the Apostle Paul, who somehow lost his way, came loose from his moorings and drifted away into the world again. I am not going to be so presumptuous as others have been and make a statement that Demas was never saved to begin with, nor am I going to venture to speculate on where Demas is at this moment. What concerns me is what happened to this man from the time he is first mentioned in Scripture until the last time he is mentioned. He is an example of what can happen and what will happen to anyone believer who comes to the place in his or her life where they, “…love this present world…” more than they love God.
I. The Lure of This Present World
a. Our deception
ILL - Few college football coaches have made a point against drugs as effectively as Erk Russell of Georgia Southern College, the last 4 sport letterman at Auburn, winner of 3 national championships, who passed away in September of 1996. He arranged for a couple of good ol’ country boys to burst into a routine team meeting and throw a writhing, hissing, six-foot-long rattlesnake onto a table in front of the squad. "Everyone screamed and scattered," Russell recalls. "I told them,” When cocaine comes into a room, you’re not nearly as apt to leave as when that rattlesnake comes in. But they’ll both kill you!"
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
ILL - In Southern Mexico lies the Cueva de Villa Luz, or Cave of the Lighted House. As you make your way to the cave you walk through a veritable paradise of tropical birds and lush rain forest. Underwater the cave is fed by 20 underground springs, beautiful watercourses which teem with tiny fish. The cave itself is home to spectacular rock formations and beautiful ponds. The environment is inviting. Yet accept the invitation and you’ll soon be dead. You see, the Cueva de Villa Luz is filled with poisonous gases. Temptation is just like this. It presents itself to us as something inviting, attractive, life-giving. Yet in reality it’s poisonous and toxic.
Source: Scott Higgins. Information on the Cave obtained from National Geographic, May 2001.
THE PROMISE OF A FLAT-SCREEN
ILL - Reminds me of a 42-year-old woman from South Bend, Indiana. She called the police after being sold what she thought was a flat-screen TV. She was approached by a man who offered her a great deal on the TV, a new flat-screen TV for only $500 dollars. She admitted it was a great deal but did not have the money. So he lowered the price to $300 dollars. She gave him the money. The set was bubble-wrapped, had Wal-Mart stickers on it, and came with a remote control--but when she unwrapped it, she discovered it was an oven door! Satan has all kinds of good things like that for us; all we have to do is pay the price of disobeying God!
b. Our dissipation
ILL - Sin has a diminishing factor to it. It always gives it’s best in the beginning. It never gets better after that ... it only gets worse.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Have you ever watched weeds take over a garden or a lawn or a life for that matter. It is slow and progressive and the end result is the life is “choked” out of our spiritually.
c. Our discernment
Discernment is the spiritual capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, the real and the counterfeit, the true and the false.
ILL - Vacationing in Arizona, a group of British tourists spots a cowboy by the side of the road, with his ear to the ground. "What’s going on?" they asked."Two horses, one gray-one chestnut, are pulling a wagon carrying 2 men,” the cowboy says."One man is wearing a red shirt and the other a black shirt." "They’re heading east." "Wow, You can tell all that just by listening to the ground?" says one of the tourists.