Past tense. Present tense. And if you thought they were tense, wait till you see the future:
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Matt. 24:7-13)
Yet the same person who said that, Jesus Christ, also said, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:31-34)
Similarly, the Apostle Paul painted a pretty pale picture for posterity: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Tim. 3:1-5a)
But he also said, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18)
A tentmaker by trade, Paul likened our bodies to tents: "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (2 Cor. 5:1-4)
Rather than focus on a tense future, Paul preferred to focus on our future tents. And if we follow his example, we'll all be happy campers. Think of this CD as a bunch of songs to sing while we're in the woods.