by Eddie Snipes

This content is part of a series.

Is Speaking in Tongues Essential? (1 of 2)
Eddie Snipes
1 Corinthians 14:22, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, 1 Corinthians 14:4-5, 1 John 2:6-10

To fully understand what the Bible is saying about speaking in tongues you have to look at the setting. When the apostles set out after Pentecost, they preached to a mass of people from many countries and different languages. Tongues served as a communication tool and a sign. Many Jews that lived in different countries came to Jerusalem for worship and feast days. Most were bilingual. They spoke in the language of their home and because of the laws of the Roman Empire they also spoke Greek. The sign of tongues was not to show that the apostles had salvation, but to bear witness to a culture that had countless religions. No god but our God could take uneducated men and give them understanding about the plan of salvation and equip them to speak in the native tongues of lands they had never visited and speak a language they had no knowledge of.

Look at 1 Corinthians 14:22, "Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe." There is no way to misinterpret this scripture. Tongues are an evangelistic tool not a sign of salvation. When the people gathered at Jerusalem saw unlearned men speaking their language, they were convinced that the Jesus being preached was real and had the power to do this miracle. Some people have gotten the idea that tongues are necessary for salvation.

We may know where the idea was popularized, it is baffling that this doctrine is widespread without scriptural support and many passages that challenge this belief. Tongues for salvation does not come from the Bible. The Bible clarifies this issue in several passages. Tongues - according to scripture - is a minor gift. It is called the least of all gifts and nowhere in scripture is it even remotely implied that tongues plays any role in salvation - other th ...

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