Speaking in ” Unknown Tongues ” is Still in the Church!
First Corinthians chapter fourteen shows that the church at Corinth had a problem which impacted their assembly. This made it impossible for worship to take place. The miraculous gifts were designed to enhance worship, but the abuse of them created chaos. The misuse of the gift of tongues made worship impossible.
The gift of tongues had their place. It was designed to convict those who heard men who had never spoken in a foreign language speak God’s message to foreigners. Pentecost illustrates this perfectly. Galileans spoke with perfect accents the message to men from all over the world. The gift of prophecy was preaching in a known tongue. The gift of tongues was preaching in a foreign tongue.
Here was the problem in Corinth. Some insisted that they be allowed to exercise the gift, even if no foreigners were present. No one understood what was said and the result was confusion. God is not the author of confusion!
Tongues ceased at the same time prophecy ceased. When the Bible, His complete revelation, was written for all these gifts were no longer needed. His message then could always be present even if there were no prophets around—those who preached known or unknown tongues.
However, there is a principle regarding speaking in our assemblies which must still be respected. Those who speak publicly today have the responsibility to make sure they do all they can to speak in such a way that everyone understands. Remember that God rebuked those who prayed in such a way that it was impossible for one to understand what was said and made it impossible to say “Amen” at the end of the prayer.
Every man who speaks in our assemblies must ensure that whatever he says is understandable. He must speak loudly enough to be heard. Those who pray must speak loudly and distinctly enough so that older members can hear them. Those who speak before communion must speak so that all can hear. Those who make comments between songs must speak in such a way that all can hear the comments. Those who teach or preach and those who make comments in classes must speak so that all can hear.
There is a problem in the church. Men who lead in worship are not being heard. There is a modern “speaking in unknown tongues” and that is when those who lead in worship are not being heard. Men, remember your audience! There are many whose hearing is failing. Remember, also, that God places on you the responsibility of using your “gift of tongues” in such a way that you can be heard and understood!