Have you ever had an experience where someone you once knew seemed to be on fire for God but then cooled off like lava pouring into the sea. They use to volunteer at church but now if they come for Christmas and Easter your surprised. I have. So what happened? Are they what we commonly call backsliders? To find out let’s look at a “backslider” from scripture; a man called Demus.
The Story of a backslider
Demus was a close companion of Paul. He must have been part of Paul’s most trusted men. In Philemon 1:24 Paul calls him a “fellow labor” and in Colossians 4:14 Paul says to the church that, “Luke the beloved physician and Demus greet you.” To be considered along with Luke, Demus must have been held in high regard as a fellow laborer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, around AD 67, shortly before Paul’s martyrdom, he writes of Demus saying, “for Demus has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:10) We now see that Demus’ true love was this world and not Christ. In his epistle James says in chapter 4 verse 4 that a love of the world makes us enemies of God. Demus did not backslide from the faith; he had never slid towards it.
The Good News For Backsliders
The good news for the Demus’ of the world is that repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is still available. Let us not forget to examine ourselves to make sure we are not a brother of Demus. As John said:
“If they had been of us, they would have continued with us” – 1 John 2:19
Backsliders like Demus are among the lost of the world and should be evangelized to just the same. If we put our faith in that somehow they are saved even though they are producing bad fruit we do them a great disservice by withholding the precises pearls of the gospel of Christ. Do not fall into this trap of Satan’s.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;”
– 2 Peter 1:10