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Why is tongues required?

Submitted: 7/7/2010
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Question: Why do Pentecostals insist that a person must speak in tongues when this is NOwhere in the Bible? I have been frustrated about this since becoming a Pentecostal 20 years ago. I have prayed many times and begged God to show me the truth, thinking it must be me. I have read and studied about this tongues doctrine over and over. I have asked a couple of trusted elders. I don't want to tell many people I struggle with this, because as you know, questioning tongues is almost blasphemous in our ranks. I am not being contentious. I just know that it isn't in there. The Bible just doesn't say one has to speak in tongues to go to heaven, yet that is what we are pushing. It's embarrassing that we are requiring something that is not biblical. I am aware of all the little inferences and innuendo that we like to use to make our case, but the bottom line is: the Bible doesn't require a person to speak in tongues to be saved. Not only does it not say it but it seems against God's nature to be evasive about something that would cause millions to burn in hell. Well sir, you'll just have to burn for eternity because you couldn't flesh out the little subtle hints we like to use as doctrine. I promise I'm not bitter, more like desperate for someone to tell me the truth.

Answer: The truth is, the very way in which you have cast your questions betrays a fundamental lack of biblical understanding. First of all, the failure to speak in tongues will not be the CAUSE of millions going to hell. Hell is for 'the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars' (Revelation 21:8). It is for all who have not been born again and do not have a living faith in the Lord Jesus. It is for those who have not obeyed the gospel and do not know God (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

In Mark 16:17, Jesus Christ stated as clearly as it can be stated, 'And these signs will follow those who believe: ...they will speak with new tongues.' He did not say they might. He said they will. There is plenty more for those who have a heart to understand, but for the skeptics and naysayers, that one verse ought to be enough.

Frankly, we cannot comprehend why anyone would say that a person HAS TO speak in tongues? To be filled with the Spirit and speak in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance is the greatest privilege and most wonderous experience any human being can have. We never tell anyone they have to speak in tonguies. We only tell them that they have to be filled with the Spirit, and that promise is to them, their children, those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.