Timothy, please come as soon as you can. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. (NLT)
Near the end of his life, Paul experienced both the loving support of some, and abandonment by others. Such is the nature of human relationships. It seems one man, Demas, has given up the faith. It is something that many followers of Jesus encounter. Someone we figured was a sincere disciple of Jesus is now nowhere near him.
Within the Christian community there is much debate about whether it is possible to fall away from a genuine faith. Whatever we think about that, it is important to note a couple of things. One is that we cannot finally determine a person’s destiny or even finally resolve a person’s present spiritual status. Who knows, they may have given up on church but not on Jesus.
To say someone is no longer a Christian might be a step too far. To say someone was never a Christian in the first place is also presuming too much. We simply can’t deliver such verdicts. We can form opinions, but we steer clear of dogmatic statements.
The other thing to remember is that we go on praying and accepting and loving. It can be so heartbreaking to see someone we love apparently desert the faith they once proclaimed to have. We resist the temptation to badger them, to try to reassert control over them. We resist the temptation to blame ourselves. They have their own accountability before God, and he alone knows what is going on in their innermost hearts in any case.
Leave it to God to make judgements: he is much better at it than we are, he is much more qualified than we are.