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Is it true that if you don't speak in tongues, you aren't a Christian?  I have this friend who tell me I'm not because I don't have the I don't speak in tongues, I was just wondering.

The answer is no!  A Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ and follows His commandments as the Bible says.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."  John 17:3 "and this eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." John 6:47 "Most assuredly, I say to you he who believes in Me has everlasting life."  1 John 3:24 "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He is himů"

The Bible says that God give everyone different spiritual gifts.  1 Cor. 12:4-6 "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all."  Spiritual gifts are given to us to serve God and each other so we can work together in unity as verse 7 says "But the manifestation of the Spirit is give to each one for the profit of all.   Though spiritual gifts are different but they are useful and all should glorify God in unity as in Rom 12:4-5 says "For as we have many members in one body, but all the m embers do not have the same function, so we being many are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another."

Since everyone is different and is unit God give different spiritual gifts to different people. 1 Cor. 12:8-11 "for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Ephesians 4:11-13 says, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

It is unbiblical to say a Christian, who does not have the gift of speaking in tongue is not a Christian.  Nowhere in the Bible is recorded that every Christian has to speak in tongue.  Do not be disappointed nor discourage if you do not receive the gift of speaking in tongue.  The Bible teaches, in fact, that not all Christians will receive the gift of tongues.   If you read carefully

1 Cor.12: 7-11 you will notice among the nine spiritual gifts, of which tongues and the interpretation of tongues, are listed last.  Therefore, you should not feel bad because of what your friend said to you.  Share with your friend what I e-mail you so that your Christian friend would not continue to tell other Christians that they are not Christians if they cannot speak in tongue.  God does not require us to speak in tongues. 

Please note that the Bible refer to speaking in tongues in several locations.  In the book of Mark 16:17 "And these signs will follow those who believe:  In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues."  This is part of the Great Commission Christ gave His disciples, charging them with the task of taking the gospel message to the whole world.

In Acts 2:1-13; 10:44-48; 19:6 please read about the actual bestowal of the gift of tongues at Pentecost and shortly thereafter with great result.

1 Cor.12 & 14 please read these chapters.  Paul addresses his remarks to a church that had begun to misuse this special gift of tongues.  Many spoke false tongues to show that they have the gift of tongues.  The gift of tongues must be understood and interpreted and edify the Church as 1 Cor 14:26-28 "How is it then, brethren?  Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.  Let all things be done for edification.  If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the lost three, each in turn, and let on interpret.  But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church and let him speak to himself and to God.

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