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Thinking about Eternity: Who Would Invest in Confederate Money?

During the Civil War, the Confederate states cut ties with the federal government and therefore had to supply for themselves everything that the federal government once supplied for them. One of those things was currency.

I remember going to a museum as a child and actually seeing Confederate money up close. I remember thinking how strange it looked with different pictures and designs. And I remember the museum curator explaining to us how at the end of the war, when the Confederate states surrendered, people in the South had all of this Confederate money that was, all of a sudden, completely worthless. It literally wasn’t even worth the paper it was printed on because the Confederacy was no longer a functioning entity.

Because of this, people would actually take stacks of this Confederate money and simply burn it. They couldn’t trade it in or do anything else with it, so it was just taking up space in their house.

Now, I’m not a Civil War historian, but I imagine that in the final months of the war, there were probably signs that the South was going to lose the war. I’m sure it wasn’t a complete shock to them when General Robert E. Lee finally surrendered at Appomattox. And I just think to myself how foolish someone would have to be to continue acquiring Confederate money in those final months.

Where am I going with this? Well, I would suggest that it requires an equal level of foolishness to continue setting our hearts on the things of this world that are so temporary and transient when we have an eternal inheritance that God offers us.

In 1 Peter 1:4, Peter says that we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” Take a moment, and just think about that. “An inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” It’s kind of hard to imagine, isn’t it?

We have difficulty picturing that because we’ve never seen anything like it. The only things we’ve ever seen are things that perish, spoil, and fade. Roofs need to be replaced, back pains start creeping in, and family pets die. Temporary things are all we’ve ever known.

Therefore, when Peter talks about “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade,” we don’t have the mental equipment to even begin to grasp what that’s like. We just joyfully anticipate experiencing it one day.

And it doesn’t take a genius IQ to figure out that that’s the day we should be living for. If 1 Peter 1:4 is true, how foolish would we have to be to invest our energy in things that will fade away when we could be investing it in treasures that will last for eternity?