Why the World Wins

Michael Beck

“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10)

“This present world” vies with God for the hearts of men. The Apostle John wrote that it was impossible to love both God and the world. “… If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) What in the world contends with God for the hearts of men? “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)

The lust of the flesh begins with the basic push to fulfill our desires. It goes wrong when we do so without regard for the will and word of God. The lust of the eyes begins with our natural desire to see, know, and discover. We are led astray when what we would see around us matters more to us than knowing God. The pride of life begins with an ache to be known, seen, and recognized. But whose eyes do we seek to please? Whose praise do we want?

Demas backslid because he loved the world. A shift happened. Fulfilling his will became more important than doing God’s will. Being full of the world’s knowledge excited him more than knowing God. Having the attention and admiration of men was a deeper motivator than having God’s approval.

Returning to the vomit is more subtle than we realize. Slowly, invisibly at first to the eyes of men, love for God begins to wane. The place He once had is replaced by all that is in the world. But what God sees happening in the secret chambers of the heart is soon known by all. Paul realizes that Demas has not only forsaken him, but God.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.