Question:

I was doing some digging about Demas. Demas left Paul because he loved the world. We aren’t supposed to love the world. It’s never said if Demas ever got back in a right relationship with the Lord, but if he died in the state of loving the world, then he died lost.

Upon further research, I looked up the Greek word for “world” in three different verses. The word “world” in John 3:16 and II Peter 2:20 means the “world,” whereas the “world” in Demas’s case means “age”. Being that those two words have different meanings, does that mean Demas may have not loved the world which we aren’t supposed to (I John 2:15)?

It was confusing me because the word “world” in II Timothy 4:10 in Greek is “age”. I looked up the definition of “age” in that verse, and it had different meanings as opposed to the definition of world in II Peter 2:20 and I John 2:15.

I’ve just discovered something, I Timothy 6:17 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." The term “world” in this verse is the same in Greek in the verse for II Timothy 4:10. Although it’s spelled aioni in I Timothy 6:17 and aiona in II Timothy 4:10.

Answer:

"Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia" (II Timothy 4:9-10).

The Greek word aion technically means a long indefinite period of time (thus an age or era). We get the English word "eon" from this word. By extension, it can also mean eternity. But at times it refers to the world or the universe which has existed for a long time. The following shows the various meanings.

  1. It can refer to the physical world, in the sense of time and matter.
    • "In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world" (Hebrews 1:2).
    • "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3).
  2. The present age. "Until recently, aion in this sense was often translated 'the world,' just as kosmos. This leads very easily to a mingling of ideas, but it is difficult to avoid since 'age' is also insufficient for conveying the full sense of aion. When aion stands behind the term "world" in the New Testament, this refers to the world at a specific point in time and at a certain period of history" [The Complete Biblical Library].
    • "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:1-2).
  3. The world to come.
    • "but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life" (Mark 10:30).
    • "but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage" (Luke 20:35).
  4. Both the present age and the age to come.
    • "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come" (Ephesians 1:21).
    • "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (II Peter 3:18).
  5. A long time ago, in a past age.
    • "As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old" (Luke 1:70).
    • "Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind" (John 9:32).
  6. A long time in the future, eternity.
    • "The crowd then answered Him, "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" " (John 12:34).
    • "Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble" (I Corinthians 8:13).

It is in the second definition being used in II Timothy 4:10, a love of the world at that present time. Demas was focused on the here and now instead of the future. By the way, Paul said Demas left him. That does not necessarily mean Demas had left the Lord, though it could hint that this was also true. It could mean that Demas was more interested in establishing a family than in risking death by being with Paul (I Corinthians 7:32-35). I'm not saying this is what happened with Demas, but I would like you to not lock yourself into a view that isn't required by what Paul said.

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