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May 21st, 2000
Dear Pastor Malone:
Please help me. I'm graduating soon and I'm pleased to say that God has fixed my schedule this senior year where all my friends in school are Christians. I am a bit puzzled by the fact that they sometimes say that to be saved you have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, and be filled with the holy spirit evidence by talking in tongues. I do accept Jesus as my savior, and I do believe he died for my sins. I don't understand what do they mean about the only evidence of having been filled with the holy spirit is talking in tongues. Is it really required to talk in tongues or to do a holy dance in church to be truly saved. I want to fill the power of the holy ghost, but If I haven't already am I'm not really saved? How do you receive the power to talk in tongues. please help me!
Whether you ever speak in tongues has nothing to do with salvation. If you remember Paul basically said that he spoke in tongues more than them all but he would rather speak one word that all could understand than 1000 words in an unknown tongue.
I find it puzzling that this doctrine has taken on as meaning followers as it has especially when scripture clearly states the opposite. Take a look at I Corinthians 12:27-30:
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?"
"Do all speak with tongues?" No! It's clear from this passage that God gives different gifts to different people for which tongues happens to be one.
Of course, someone may say, "Speaking in tongues as evidence of salvation doesn't necessarily mean you have the gift of tongues...it may only be a one time thing." I don't know anyone, and neither do you, that only spoke in tongues at salvation and never spoke in tongues again. The truth about tongues is exactly what the Bible says...not everyone will have the gift...and there is no exception made in regards to the time of salvation.
Tongues is not evidence that you have been saved any more than the ability to walk on water. Yes, tongues do exist and are for today, but they do not confirm that one is saved. What is evidence is a repentant changed heart. A part from that, no amount of speaking in tongues will save you.
Do as Paul states...seek the the greater gifts that were listed first. Why would anyone seek the gift listed last and declared as the least desirable. Salvation has nothing to do with tongues, although in the early church some did speak in tongues upon acceptance of Christ. But that doesn't make it mandatory nor in anyway inclusive of salvation.