The passage we have before us this morning is some of the final writings of the Apostle Paul before he was beheaded for the faith. He has been in prison, and writes to Timothy to encourage him and instruct him in the ministry.
As he closes this section he reflects on those who were closely associated with his ministry and mentions Demas. "...hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica..."
Demas becomes an example of the backslider. Not a lost man who never accepted Christ, but one who had made a profession of faith. One who was involved in serving God. A helper and co-worker with the Apostle Paul. But....
This morning I want to speak to you about the warning signs or indications of the terrible condition of being backslidden. If we can identify and heed the warning signs we can avoid the results. There are too many causualties among Christians! Too many could have beens and used to be's! Let's all heed these warnings.
I. The Distractions Abound.
A. The distraction of possessions.
1. The getting and keeping material things capture a lot of our attention.
2. Listen to Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 about possessions.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mat 6:19-21)
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15)
3. Do not misunderstand me...I am not saying that it is wrong to desire and to have nice things.
4. But...when those things or the pursuit of those things distract us from our primary purpose on this earth (which is to glorify God with all of our being) then we have started down a road that is not pleasing to Him.
B. The distraction of position.
1. Sometimes we are more interested in making a name or reputation than we are in pleasing the Lord.
2. Listen to Jesus in Matthew 6:33 as to what we are to seek first.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mat 6:33)
C. The distraction of pleasure.
1. Paul warned us that the end time generation would love self and pleasure more than God.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” (2 Tim 3:2) 
2. “...Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (2 Tim 3:4)
3. Jesus warns us that cares, deceitfulness of riches, and pleasures would choke the Word and make us fruitless.
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Mat 13:22)
D. The distraction of problems.
1. The Devil will be busy stirring up a lot of problems that seemingly have no solutions.
2. Peter tells us what to do in times of problems.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Pet 5:7-9)
II. The Deceitfulness is Awful.
A. The blinding.
1. Consider the truth about Satan.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Cor 4:3-4)
2. The Devil is the great blinder.
3. Some call evil good and good evil.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa 5:20)
4. Listen to people today!
5. The wicked are exalted and those who do good debased.
6. People are blinded to the truth and the result is to do evil and suffer then consequences.
B. The blaming.
1. We fall for the Devil's lies and then we blame others for our failures.
2. Adam blamed Eve for his sin in the garden. "...She gave me to eat and I ate."
3. Instead of being responsible for our actions, we want to feel we were right in doing wrong and that's not right.
C. The briefness.
1. One thing about deceit, it is usually very brief.
2. It's not long until we know that we have been tricked.
3. But oftentimes we continue in deceit because of pride.
4. Cover one sin up with a lie and cover it up with another lie.
III. The Disobedience is Acceptable.
A. The Word of God.
1. God's Word teaches us to obey the Lord God.
2. This is our obligation. "...We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)
3. Sometimes we can know what the Bible says and not do it.
4. Sadly, we accept this disobedience and make it a practice.
B. The will of the God.
1. We can hear the Lord's Word and choose to do our will and disregard His will.
2. Remember the words of Paul in Gal. 6:7,8.
3. Don't be deceived.
4. Whatever we sow we will reap.
C. The wayward.
1. When we choose to disobey the Lord, we will go in the opposite direction.
2. We can't feel right doing wrong.
3. We can't feel close, when you disobey.
4. We won't be in fellowship, when we disobey. I John 1:6,7
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:6-7)
IV. The Deserting is Agreeable.
A. The quitting.
1. A person can't live two lives.
2. They will choose the one or the other.
3. Demas quit Paul and the Lord because he loved the world more.
4. There are a lot of saved people out of service because they loved someone or something more than God.
B. The questions.
1. The Devil caused Eve to question what God had said. Gen. 3:1-3
2. Some who have gone to church all their lives are now questioning the teachings of the Word and the things of the Lord.
C. The quests.
1. Some who are saved are searching for something that will satisfy outside of the Lord and His services.
2. Solomon made a search of life
3. Note his conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccl 12:13)
V. The Damage is Accountable.
A. The heaviness.
1. The saved cannot turn their backs on the Lord and His work without experiencing a great heaviness.
2. If you choose to be a Demas, prepare for a life of misery, guilt, and unhappiness.
B. The hurt.
1. We will hurt ourself and our life more than anyone else.
2. Like David when he sinned, we will show contempt for the Lord and His Word, and we will give occasion to the enemy to blaspheme God.
3. Many who are lost may choose to stay lost because we no longer serve the Lord.
C. The hindrance.
1. We will hinder the cause of the Lord.
2. The Devil will use the backslider to hinder the Lord's churches.
3. Many sinful saints have hindered the work of the church they belonged to by their sinfulness.
4. It is hard for a church to minister to a community when a saved person has given an excuse to blaspheme God.
D. The hardness.
1. The longer a person stays in their backslidden condition the harder they will become.
2. They become cruel and critical of others living right.
3. They cause others to question their salvation.
This morning will we heed the warnings? Will we honestly look at our lives and consider if we are on our way to becoming a Demas? If you are a Christian this morning, ask yourself these questions.
· Are we distracted from serving Christ? · Are we deceiving ourselves? · Have we come to accept disobedience? · Have we given up on God?
We must realize that we are accountable to God for the damage done to ourselves, our families, and others.
Are you here this morning without a personal relationship to Jesus Christ? Will you come and trust Him today? Whatever your need might be, will you come this morning?