(What Happened to Demas?) Bible Question.
“The Bible says Demas forsook Paul, having loved the present world. What does that mean? What happened to him?”
Demas was a co-worker of the apostle Paul, “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers.” (Philemon 23, 24; New International Version)
He was with Paul during the apostle’s first imprisonment. Paul wrote from prison in Rome to the church at Colossae, “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.” (Colossians 4:14)
Finally, Demas is said to have deserted Paul, “. . . Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. . . “ (2 Timothy 4:10a)
As Paul describes Demas’ actions, he is drawing a contrast with an earlier statement he had just made in the same letter. . . “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8). Demas, unlike those who were longing for the coming of Jesus, has decided to put his trust in the present time.
Scholars are divided on what exactly happened to Demas. Some believe he did not want to be with Paul during a second trial in Rome. Some contend that he did not forsake the Lord, but instead merely deserted Paul. I think Demas left the Lord and His work altogether. Instead of being among them longing for the Lord’s return, he favored this world. To me, that says he gave up on being a Christian and (in the process of giving up) abandoned Paul. But again, this is my conclusion.