Speaking in tongues is absolutely for today. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that speaking in tongues, nor any gift of the Spirit, has ceased in our lifetime.
There are many denominations that hold the belief that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased to exist. They either believe that now that we have the word of God we no longer need the supernatural gifts because they were used to only confirm the Word.
Or they believe that the gifts followed the apostles and apostles are no more, and since apostles are no more then that means that the gifts are no longer for today either.
These are the primary two objections to speaking in tongues, or any gift of the Spirit, not being for today.
We are going to answer these two objections in detail and explain each one of them so that you can know for sure that speaking in tongues is active and prevalent today, along with all of the other gifts of the Spirit.
[Related article: Are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for Today? (Objections Answered)].
Objection 1: Speaking in Tongues ceased when the Bible arrived
The people who hold this view believe this because of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”
Cessationists (those who believe that the gifts and tongues have ceased) are quick to point out this scripture.
They use it to make the point that the Word of God clearly teaches that tongues and prophecies will cease.
And honestly, I would agree with them! This passage definitely teaches that prophecies, tongues, etc. will cease to exist. But the question has never been will they cease, but when will they cease?
And the very next verse actually tells us when this will come to pass.
“But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (v.10)
So the gifts of the Spirit will cease to exist when “that which is perfect has come.”
Now, the common cessationist believes that that “which is perfect” is the Bible. They say something like “Now that we have the Bible we no longer need the gifts of the Spirit and this verse teaches that.”
Well, I agree that the Bible is perfect and that it is the Word of God, but this verse is not talking about the Bible.
I know this because this same passage says that knowledge, as we know it, will cease as well when that “which is perfect” has come.
You see, this passage doesn’t just say that the gifts of the Spirit will stop, but that knowledge will stop as well.
“But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” (v.8)
Well, do we still have knowledge? Yes! Obviously.
Has knowledge ceased? No, of course not and neither has the gifts.
Also, the very next verse of this passage says that when that “which is perfect has come” we will no longer know just a little bit, but we will know just as we are fully known by God.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Do we know just as we are also fully known? Has the Bible caused all of us to have this kind of understanding?
Or is our understanding still a little bit fuzzy and we are all still in a growing process?
These scriptures clearly teach that the Bible is not “that which is perfect” because it simply does not meet the criteria that this chapter gives.
So what is the “perfect” that the apostle Paul is referring to?
He’s speaking of when Jesus returns, and we all put away this body of mortality, and we put on immortality. He’s talking about the Millennial Kingdom and Eternity when we go be with the Lord. That is the only time we will be able to say, “I know just as I also am fully known.”
Objection 2: The signs followed the Apostles, the Apostles are gone, therefore, the signs are gone
There are so many assumptions with this objection that are NOT found in scripture.
First, the Bible has never said that the miraculous signs only follow the apostles. In fact, the Bible says the exact opposite!
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18)
Notice, these “signs”, or miracles, or gifts of the spirit follow the believers not just the superstar apostles. [Related articles: Is Speaking in Tongues for Everyone? (Biblical Answer) and Are the Gifts of the Spirit for Everyone? (Explained)].
In fact, Jesus commanded the apostles to teach the everyday disciple of Christ to observe everything that Jesus commanded them.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you..” (Matthew 28:19-20)
And Jesus commanded them to do miracles! He told them to go out and heal the sick, to cast out demons, to raise the dead, and to cleanse the lepers (Matthew 10:8).
Obviously, Jesus taught them many other things like love, giving, prayer, fasting, obedience, humility, faith, suffering, etc.
But He taught them and commanded them to do miraculous things as well. And this is meant to be passed on down through the generations for every single follower of Christ.
Nowhere do we find these miraculous signs, nor these commands from Jesus, ceasing in the Bible nor in church history!
Second, the role of an apostle has never ceased. In fact, the Bible teaches that it will never cease until we all become perfect.
“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.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Notice these verses say that Jesus gave the Church certain ministries so that the body of Christ can be equipped for service.
And it says these ministries (including apostleship) will not cease until we all come to (1) the unity of the faith, (2) the knowledge of the Son of God, and (3) to a perfect man to the fullness of Christ.
This has not happened yet, nor will it ever happen until Jesus returns.
The perfection of our beings is reserved for the day that we receive a glorified body at the second coming of Jesus Christ and we reign with Him during the Millennial Kingdom.
So in short, speaking in tongues is absolutely for today. The Bible consistently encourages us and commands us to speak in tongues on a regular basis, and nowhere in the Bible can we find scriptural evidence that suggests that speaking in tongues is not for today.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.
God bless all of you!
P.S. I have an entire article that does an in-depth study on Speaking in Tongues if you are interested in learning more about this topic. You can read it by clicking the title here: Bible Study/Teaching/Lesson/Commentary on Speaking in Tongues. Enjoy!