Last week we waded a few steps into 2 Timothy chapter 4, let me ask you to turn there again this week and let’s read verse 9 -11. Here Paul continues his final directions to his friends and brethren and especially his fellow pastors and then tells them of a great shame and failure on the part of Demas. Verse 10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world”! Part of me finds this sad and disappointing. Did Demas drop the news of this betrayal on Paul during visitors hours at the prison? Did he even have the guts to tell Paul why he was abandoning God and the church? I have seen professing Christians use all sorts of fabricated excuses to forsake the Lord when it was nothing more than that they “loved this present world”. During the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ {some call it the civil war} the ‘after action reports’ recorded *Killed *Taken Prisoner and *Missing and sometimes the number of *Missing was staggering – it reflected those who snuck away in the night and those traitors who defected to the opposite side. I would ask you which column you’d list Demas in? Was he taken prisoner by the devil? Was he a traitor who forsook his General and his comrades? Part of me finds Demas a source of disappointment and I am sad for him. However, part of me finds Demas a sad example for other Christians. How many were shocked to hear Demas forsook the Lord? How many young people began to question their own faith after hearing that Demas had quit on God? Did Demas have a wife and children in church? If so, how did this affect their walk with the Lord? I have heard many say, “well preacher, it is my business and it isn’t hurting anyone”. I wish that were true, but it isn’t – Romans 14:7 says ‘For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself’. Our walk and witness and life touches and impacts others. We are not told what, specifically, lured Demas away, Paul just says Demas loved “this present world”.  What it the fishing boat? Was it the deer stand? Was it soccer, band, football or baseball practice? Who knows! One thing is certain, “This present world” is still luring Christians out and pulling lost people further away from God. I’d venture a guess that you have seen and know a Demas right now. I regret to say that you are probably going to see someone else forsake the Lord and return to the world. Lastly notice that Paul didn’t say “I always knew Demas was going to turn his back on the Lord”. No in fact I think Paul felt pity for Demas. The price of returning to the world is sometimes very high. So, let me urge you who are strong in the Lord to watch for an opportunity to reach out to the Demas’s you know. Try to help them to “free themselves from the snare of the devil” [2nd Timothy 24-26].  If Demas ever got it right and came back, we’re not told. But I have seen some who fell out come limping back! As the old saying goes “it’s better to go limping into heaven than to go skipping into hell”. Praise God for second chances! If you’re out and away from God, let me remind you that God welcomes prodigals’ home with rejoicing! Calvary Baptist Church across from Pizza Hut on the loop! 903-729-5924.