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Must I speak in tongues to be saved?

Today’s Question: My Pentecostal friend says that I MUST speak in tongues in order to go to heaven. He has shown me several verses which he says proves this, but I am not too sure. I heard you say, "The Bible clearly teaches that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation and comes AFTER a person is saved." Will you please instruct me where to find this in the Bible?

Also, do you believe (or does the Bible teach) a person can be baptized in the Holy Spirit without speaking in Tongues? Thanks and God bless you and your ministry.


Bible Answer: Your friend is wrong. Salvation does not depend on tongues. Speaking in tongues does not save you. Christ saves you through accepting Him as your Lord and Savior (John 3:16). Speaking in tongues comes when you accept and receive the Holy Spirit into your life. This is a separate experience from salvation.

You wanted Scripture that proves the baptism in the Holy Spirit comes AFTER we are saved. Acts 8:12-17 says:

But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."

Notice, Tim, the Samaritan church believed the gospel and were baptized. According to Mark 16:16, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved." According to the Lord’s word, these Samaritans were saved because they believed and were baptized. Later, however, Peter placed his hands on them and they were filled with the Spirit.

Jesus also taught that the Holy Spirit belonged to God’s Children, not to the world. The following scripture is evidence to this:

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13)

Notice that God gives the Holy Spirit to His children, not to the unsaved. So you must be God’s child before you are entitled to the Holy Spirit.

Jesus also said that the world could not receive the Spirit:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17, KJV)

According to your friend’s logic, he is in a Catch 22 situation. He believes that unless you receive the Holy Spirit with tongues you can’t be saved, but Jesus said that the unsaved cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus used the term "world" to refer to the "unsaved."

Tim, don’t believe your friend. I encourage you to receive the full baptism in the Holy Spirit, but don’t receive the Spirit with your friend at his church. Find another Spirit-filled church where they can pray that you get filled with the Spirit.

Concerning your other question: yes, tongues should accompany the infilling of the Holy Spirit. (see Acts 2:4; 10:46; and 19:6)


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