The Bible tells us in 1st Corinthians 13 that where there is speaking in tongues it will cease. The interpretation of this scripture has led to a debate where some claim speaking in tongues already ceased while others believe it still exists.
What exactly does speaking in tongues will cease mean? That is what I want to talk about in this article.
Speaking in Tongues will cease: Context
To get the correct interpretation of the portion of scripture that mentions tongues will cease, you have to look at the bigger picture.
First, the scripture is found in 1st Corinthians 13 which is a chapter that talks about love and compares it to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The chapter begins with Apostle Paul saying speaking in tongues without love is like the noise of a gong or the clanging of cymbal.
This is not meant to demean the gift of speaking in tongues but rather to show the importance of love. Some people interpret this portion of scripture to mean that speaking in tongues is empty noise but clearly we see that speaking in tongues is only empty noise when it is done without love.
The remainder of the chapter carries the same message; love is the foundation of all gifts of the Holy Spirit. If a gift of the Holy Spirit is not built on love, it is pointless.
Towards the end, Apostle Paul mentions the longevity of love in comparison to gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is where he writes the statement ‘tongues will cease’.
You have to note that Apostle Paul mentions a number of gifts and not just speaking in tongues. He begins by saying where there are prophecies they will fail.
All prophecies talk about Jesus. When Jesus showed up and fulfilled prophecies made about Him, the prophecies became obsolete. Jesus introduced love which took the place of the prophecies He had fulfilled.
Apostle Paul also mentions that knowledge will pass away. Knowledge is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem was knowledge but once Jesus was born, that knowledge became obsolete.
In the same context, Apostle Paul mentions that speaking in tongues will cease. After understanding that all gifts work until when Christ is revealed, it is no surprise that tongues will cease.
While prophecies and knowledge existed before the first coming of Christ, speaking in tongues did not exist.
After Christ came and died for our sins, most prophecies were fulfilled and a lot of knowledge became obsolete. But there are still prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled; prophecies about the second coming of Christ.
In the same way, there is knowledge about the second coming of Christ that is yet to be manifested. When Christ shows up the second time, prophecies and knowledge and all other gifts of the Holy Spirit will become obsolete.
Why Speaking in Tongues will cease
Speaking in tongues will cease after the second coming of Christ because its work will be over. Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to pray to God.
When Jesus returns, we will go to be with the Lord and we will not need to pray.
The same is true for prophecies; they will come to an end because everything will be fulfilled. The aim of prophecies is to give hope. Once Christ returns and takes us home, our hopes would have come true and there will be no need of prophecies again.
This is what Apostle Paul mentions when he says when the perfect has come, that which is in part will be done away with.
Prophecy, speaking in tongues, knowledge, wisdom, performing miracles are all gifts of the Holy Spirit. Their main aim is to usher in love.
God is love and Jesus is God. When Jesus returns, He will bring the full measure of love which will then overshadow the portions of love we see through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I do speak in tongues and I have always emphasized that speaking in tongues should never be an end in itself but rather a means to an end.
The end goal of speaking in tongues is to manifest love in us. The more we speak in tongues, the more we get closer to God and realize how much He loves us.
We are then required to share the love we receive from God with others and fulfill the command that Jesus gave us; to love one another as He loved us.
Every gift of the Holy Spirit builds love.
For those who believe Speaking in Tongues already ceased
Those who claim that speaking in tongues ceased need to tell us why they are not yet in paradise with Christ.
Provided we are still on earth, the Holy Spirit is with us. The Holy Spirit is the helper that Jesus sent to help us walk uprightly until His return.
The Holy Spirit helps us in different ways which we know as gifts. Jesus told us that the Spirit of God would lead us into all the truth. When the Holy Spirit leads us into the truth, we call it the gift of knowledge.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:26 that we do not know how to pray as we ought to but that the Spirit of God makes intercession for us with groans that are too deep for words. When the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, we call it speaking in tongues.
When we need hope, the Spirit of God makes prophecies known to us to give us hope. We call that the gift of prophecy.
When we fall sick in our physical bodies, the Holy Spirit restores our health and we call that the gift of healing.
When we need to make decisions in life, the Spirit of God guides us to make decisions that work for our good and we call that the gift of wisdom.
All the gifts are relevant until when Jesus returns. Don’t struggle in your walk of salvation yet the Holy Spirit is available to help you. Utilize his gifts including speaking in tongues.
Speaking in Tongues will cease: Conclusion
Speaking in tongues as well as other gifts of the Holy Spirit will cease only after the return of Jesus. These gifts are meant to help us prepare for the return of Christ.
Let us pass this important message to all believers. I have designed t-shirts that bear the message. Get one and wear it to pass this message to all believers. God will reward you for your effort.