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Summary: Lessons asks some difficult questions on the use of tongues in accordance with Acts 2 and compares it to the present day use of glossalalia and how those two are defined.

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TONGUES I

OPEN #1: WHY ARE WE LEARNING ABOUT TONGUES? When I began outlining the Acts 2 as I felt I should as I was led by the Lord to do so, I knew that the issue of tongues would come up and would have to be covered (off the record, that’s why I believe in breaking down the scriptures expositively {in order} because it doesn’t allow pastors the chance to skip tough topics. Just to be honest, this would have been a topic I as a human would have skipped.

OPEN #2: IS THIS A SMALL GROUP TOPIC? Technically, everything under the sun is a small group topic, but I have to admit that this would be an unusual one as far as discussions go. So leaders, you will really, really, really have to know the answers to the questions in order to be sharp and Biblically correct to explain them. Remember, a lot of people who fall a way from the church do so because their faith is NOT rock bottom. And their faith is NOT rock bottom because students have never been explained what the Bible says on certain topics. Youth hear about heaven, hell, sex, end times, etc and I know which topics are exciting (you do too). But, they also need to know tongues, cults, healing, holiness, and tons of other topics as well. I guess my hope is that in this two part message (it will take at least two weeks), the issue will be clear.

OPEN #3: ISN’T THIS CONTROVERSIAL TO TALK ABOUT? Yeah, I think it is. And the reason I think it is is because I know a host of really strong believers who I like a ton who just aren’t applying the issue of tongues as it is laid out in the scriptures. If anyone in the group has differentiating beliefs here, please be kind, and in no way suggest that the parents of those youth who have been taught certain things are wrong—the last thing we want is for youth to be questioning their Godly parents’ theology. But, as teachers being held to a high standard, we are obligated to learn exactly what the Bible has for us to learn.

BIBLE VERSE: ACTS 2:4-21

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

QUESTIONS:

1. What is the gift of speaking in tongues?

2. Is the gift of tongues meant for today?

3. Is the gift of tongues active in the church today?

4. Is it possible to be heard in someone else’s language?

5. What is glossolalia?

ANSWERS:

1. What is the gift of speaking in tongues? Tongues were a spiritual gift given by God on the day of Pentecost—the holy day which officially began his church. Acts 2 records believers speaking and hearing the gospel message of Christ spoken “in his own tongue,” which is where the word contrives from. In the Greek, the word “tongues” literally means “languages.” Therefore, the gift of tongues is the ability to speak to someone of a different language and have them understand you. This occurrence happens in the above verse in Acts 2, and is repeated again in 1 Corinthians 12:30. Obviously, if you have ever been to a worship service in more of a Pentecostal church and heard tongues spoken, you may be wondering here what languages were being spoken—if any?

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