Speaking in Tongues is a sign for unbelievers

The mystery of tongues being a sign for unbelievers and prophecy a sign for believers.

1 Cor 14:22-25 States “So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and am unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God declaring that God is certainly among you.”

How can tongues be a sign to unbelievers?

The secret is in the use of the term sign. A sign points to something. When an unbeliever encounters a Christian who is manifesting the gift of tongues he is not acting normally or speaking in a learned language. This will be a sign to any unbeliever present. It can be either a positive or negative sign. If the tongue is interpreted in the correct way then the unbeliever will understand what has been said as a testimony to the greatness of God in that person’s life.

If the whole church are speaking in tongues one after another and they are not interpreted this will be a negative sign. Unbelievers will not understand what is happening and will react in a negative way and declare that the people speaking in tongues are mad or at the best drunk! This is hardly surprising as the natural mind cannot understand the things and ways of the Spirit. This is why it is important that the gift of interpretation of tongues accompanies the gift of speaking in tongues.

“One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies that one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.”

Click here for a section dealing with signs.

An old road sign reads "Narrow road"

1. What is speaking in tongues?
2. Tongues restores our spiritual order
3. The promise of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues
4. Speaking in tongues builds you up inside
5. Tongues is your spirit expressing itself to God
6. Examples of the tongues of men
7. Under construction
8. The public use of speaking in tongues
9. Interpreting tongues
10 Tongues as a sign for unbelievers
The secret of moving in the power of God
The word of knowledge
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