Read 2 Timothy 4:9­­­-22.

We don’t read much about Demas in the New Testament, but what we can read reveals a downward spiral in his spiritual walk. In Philemon 24, Paul mentions Demas as one of his “fellow workers,” alongside familiar names like Mark and Luke. In Colossians, Paul mentions him again positively. But here in 2 Timothy, Paul writes, “Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me” (4:10).

What a tragedy! There are few things that break the heart of a servant of God more than seeing people who might have done great things for the Lord choose the low road. So Paul grieves over Demas, who has decided to pursue the mirage of worldly success instead of serving the King of kings.

You may have a Demas in your life. It may be a child, a parent, a sibling, or a close friend. Whoever it is, you love them dearly, but their choices have broken your heart. If there’s a Demas on your mind and heart as you read these words, I want to tell you something: Don’t ever stop praying for them. God delights in bringing prodigals home. He can do it. He will answer your prayers.

In the meantime, know that you are not alone in your grief. Even someone like the apostle Paul needed a shoulder to lean on. That’s why, as he closes his letter, he asks Timothy to come and see him. He longed for the encouragement of his good friend and son in the faith. You see, no matter how spiritually mature we become, no matter what we do for God, we all need to be encouraged. This is why it is so critical in these last days that we don’t abandon Christian fellowship. Now, more than ever, we need to bear one another’s burdens and remind each other of the Truth.

If ever you find yourself alone for the sake of righteousness, whatever you do, don’t give up. God is right there with you.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You stick closer than a brother—that You promised to be with me always to the very end of the age. Help me to persevere in loneliness and bring me godly fellowship for the strengthening of Your church. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:18).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Don’t Ever Give Up, Part 8: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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