But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Peter 3:10
So much for optimism concerning the earth and its works.
Now I know that there are ways to "handle" this verse, to kind of take the sting out of it. The first, and most widely used, is to just ignore it.
This actually has been quite successful. Corporate churches use this technique. When at least 90% of your effort is applied to gain money, real estate, prestige, and power, who wants to hear that your gains will all be burned up?
But let's just say that a member of such a church stumbles upon this verse and asks what it means. Strategy number two may be used--discredit the verse.
First, you can say that it is not literal. It could mean that the earth and its works, great as they are, will be surpassed by the work of the church in its earthly kingdom building efforts.
Anyway, maybe Peter was just having a bad day. People do, you know.
So, don't let this verse put a big nick in your optimism. Think positively! If the whole congregation started accepting these words of Peter as literal, our stock portfolio would crash down to zero, and we've put so much effort into it.