MIF 16:4 (July-Aug 1984)
Love For The World
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica …” (2 Timothy 4:10).
What a contrast we have between these two verses! Both express love for the world, but with vastly different motives. Christ died because of God’s boundless love for all mankind, taking upon Himself the penalty of our sins and promising eternal life to all who would confess Him as Lord and Saviour. In this passage the Apostle John presents the keynote of the message of salvation, based on God’s love for the world.
Demas had been a faithful fellow laborer with the Apostle Paul, so it must have been a keen personal disappointment to the apostle when Demas deserted him. The world which Demas loved is not interested in knowing Christ, for we read that “whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). What a tragedy it is when one’s love for Christ is displaced by love for this present world-system.
Whether we are babes in Christ or mature believers, we should never lose sight of our spiritual goals. Remember what happened to Peter when he was water-walking and took his eyes off the Lord Jesus! Likewise, Demas started well and ran well, but he became a spiritual dropout before he finished the course. He took his eyes off the goal.
Christ knew the power of Satan to distract us, saying, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:26). The safest way to avoid Demas’ defection is to follow Paul’s advice, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
—Arthur F. Wilder