Verlon’s Spiritual Vitamins

WHAT WAS IN THESSALONICA?
 

When the Apostle Paul wrote Timothy, he shared some tragic news.  He wrote, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…(ll Tim. 4: 9,10).  What was in Thessalonica that appealed to Demas to the extent that he would be persuaded to forsake the apostle Paul?  The world!

 In Philemon 24 Paul refers to Demas on one of his fellow laborers.  In Colossians 4:14 we find Demas sending greetings to the church at Colossi.   These two references and the one in 2 Timothy are the only verses which mention Demas.  It is a brief biography which has a happy beginning and middle, but a sad ending.  At first he is in the trenches with the apostle; next he is greeting the Lord’s people; but in the end he forsakes all.  Why?  There was something in Thessalonica…the world, and Paul said Demas had cone to love the world. 

Now we aren’t talking about your everyday Christian!  No, we’re talking about a man who was laboring with the apostle Paul.  We’re talking about a man whom the Lord saw fit to mention in the eternal Word.  We’re talking about a Christian man who was there in the beginning of Christianity.  Demas lived in the days when miracles were being performed, the dead were being raised, Christians were speaking in foreign languages (tongues), prophesying, etc. in such a way that many could not deny that Jesus was the Christ and the apostles were endowed with heavenly power. 

Demas was there and witnessing al these things.  Yet, there was something in Thessalonica which caused him to lay down his cross, deny the confirming works of the men of God with whom he labored, and forsake Paul, the Lord and the Brethren.  What was in Thessalonica?  The World!  Since Demas departed from Paul because he loved the world, and since he went to Thessalonica, we assume the world was in Thessalonica. 

If so, then what is the world?  1 John 2:16 says the world is the “lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”  In verse 15 the sacred text tells us that if a man loves the world, “the love of the Father is not in him,” James says that a man who is a friend of the world is the enemy of God (Jam 4:4).  How is this so?  Look at what the love of the world (fleshly lust, lust of the eyes, pride of life) did to Demas.  He forsook the Lord.  He went from being a faithful laborer in the Lord’s vineyard to being an enemy of God. 

What was in Thessalonica that would cause a Christian to fall?  The same thing that exists in our own communities – the world!  How true our Lord’s words are: “No man can serve two masters: for he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other…” (Mat 6:24).