After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
#5 If I Am Saved Should I Be Able to Speak in Tongues?
Answer: No, the gift of speaking in other languages was given as a sign in the early church to show that the gospel was an authentic message from God but it is not part of God’s program for today.
In the second chapter of Acts, we read that when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples that were gathered together in Jerusalem they were able to speak in many foreign languages and everyone present was able to understand the gospel. The Lord Jesus predicted this before he ascended to heaven. He said that people speaking in tongues would be a sign that would accompany the preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:17). There are other examples of people that believed the gospel receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues (Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:6-7).
In 1 Corinthians 12-14, the Apostle Paul teaches about the gift of tongues in greater detail than in any other part of the Bible. He makes it clear that not every Christian is expected to speak in tongues, but that it was a gift given to particular members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:10). This alone proves that it was never true that every Christian had to speak in tongues. Paul also teaches that tongues were meant to be a sign for unbelievers. In 1 Corinthians 14:21 he quotes from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah to show that tongues were a sign of judgment on the Jewish people that would not believe in the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:22 says that the “Jews demand a sign.” Thus the gift of tongues was meant to be a sign, particularly for unbelieving Jews that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and that the gospel message was from God.
In 1 Corinthians 13:8 Paul says “where there are tongues, they will be stilled.” In this same passage, he writes that faith, love, and hope would endure. However, both faith and hope will cease when we see Jesus Christ face to face. Therefore, we can conclude that at some point prior to the appearing of the Lord from heaven tongues must cease. The time when this happened was after the truth of the church, the Body of Christ had been fully revealed.
There are many sincere and devoted Christians that believe that the gift of tongues is active in the Church today. It is hard to explain what takes place during meetings when believers are apparently speaking in other languages. It may be anything from psychological phenomenon to deliberate deception or even demonic activity. However, given the fact that tongues were originally meant as a sign to the unbelieving Jews that rejected the gospel and that Paul tells us the gift would cease one can conclude that the speaking in tongues practiced today is not a manifestation of having received power from the Holy Spirit.
Please read the following verses: 1 Corinthians 12-14. Joel 2:28-32; Isaiah 28:11-14; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
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God bless you
Pastor Dwight Anderson