2 Timothy 4:9-11
Do your diligence to come shortly to me:…
1. It is lawful (in some cases) to name men. The apostle, to make others fear apostasy, names this backslider. Our application must be as a garment fitted for the body it is made for: a garment that is fit for everybody, is fit for nobody. What is spoken in general to all, few will apply to themselves. The only way to benefit our people is to apply the plaster to their particular sores. This made Ahab to put on sackcloth (1 Kings 21:20), and brought in so many thousand converts (Acts 2:37). One preacher that thus faithfully applieth the Word to his people, shall do more good in one year than another that preaeheth in a general way, and never cometh home to the consciences of the people, shall do in many.
2. The godly must look sometimes to be forsaken by their bosom friend. Demas was Paul's intimate acquaintance and coadjutor, yet "Demas bath forsaken me." True friend ship is like a well-built arch which standeth at first at a greater distance, and thence leisurely groweth up into a greater closure at the top, and so it will stand the better for weight.
3. Eminent professors may become grand apostates. Demas is a preacher of the gospel, Paul's coadjutor, and is joined with Luke the evangelist (Colossians 4:14), yet for all this "Demas hath forsaken me." Nothing but sincerity can pre serve us from apostasy. Let us therefore, especially at our first setting forth, dig deep, lay a good foundation, consider what the truth may cost us, and ask ourselves whether we can deny ourselves universally for Christ. If we cannot, or will not, we are not fit to be Christ's disciples, we shall shrink in the wetting, and start aside like a broken bow when a temptation comes (2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11).
4. The inordinate love of this present world is the highway to apostasy. It is not the world or the creatures which are good in themselves, but the excessive and inordinate love of them, which ruins men.
5. This world shall have an end and all things in it, it is not an everlasting world, it is but this present world, whose pomp and pleasures soon vanish away (1 Corinthians 7:29, 30, 31).
6. Sin blotteth a man's name, and blemisheth his reputation. Demas, for his worldliness, had a brand set on his name to the end of the world.
7. It is an aggravation of a man's sin to sin deliberately against light and conviction. Demas doth not sin here through passion or fear, but deliberately.
(1) He sinned against great light, he being a professor, yea, a preacher of the gospel, could not offend (in this kind especially) through ignorance.
(2) Demas sinned against great love. God had enlightened him, and made him a preacher of the gospel, gave him a room in the affections of his chosen vessel Paul, who made him his coadjutor.
(3) He sinned against the light of good example. Paul went before him in doing and suffering, and glories in all as comfortable and honourable, yet Demas deserts him, and is not this our sin?
(4) To sin upon a light temptation aggravateth a sin. Now Demas had no just ground for flinching. If he feared suffering for Christ, he knew the promise, That he who forsaketh father, or mother, or lands, or life, for Christ, shall have a hundred fold in this present world, and could he have brought his life and estate to a better market? If he loved the world and found sweetness in that, is there not more sweetness in Him that made the world?
(5) To draw others into sin, aggravateth sin. Demas, by his evil example, brought an evil report on the gospel, and did tacitly and interpretatively say there is much more sweetness in the world than in Christ, and so drew others from the truth.
(6) The greater the person that sins the greater is his sin. Theft in a judge is worse than in an inferior person; for Demas, a teacher of others, to teach apostasy, draws men into sin. Such cedars fall not alone, but crush the shrubs that be under them.
(T. Hall, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: