Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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An email from Rebekah.
I have been thinking a lot about the issue of the New Birth. And yesterday, as I was thinking about the arguments I've heard recently against it being evidenced by speaking in tongues, I realized something. Something very logically sound and very good to me! I'm going to try to explain it the best that I can:
I realized that there should only be four kinds of people on this earth. These four types of people are:
(1) Those who believe that speaking in tongues is an experience given by God and who have received it.
(2) Those who believe that speaking in tongues is an experience given by God and who are seeking it.
(3) Those who do not believe that speaking in tongues is an experience given by God.
(4) Those who have just heard about the experience of speaking in tongues and are not sure yet if it is of God, or those who "have not so much as heard whether there be any [such experience]."
In other words, there should never be a class of people who believe that speaking in tongues is of God and who feel that they do not want or need it. Why would there be?? Why do so many people fall into this category? Have you ever stopped to think about what it really means for a person to say that they belong in such a category? As one man said one time when trying to decide if he needed it or not, "Well, if God is giving it out, it can't be bad!" What else on this earth can we spend our time doing that is more important or worthwhile than seeking after a wonderful experience in God that we believe to be real? Is your job more important? Is the laundry? Paying the bills? Breathing? What does it say about a person if they say, "Well, I believe that it was God who gave that to you, but I don't really want it for myself and I'm fine without it." Fine without it?? Fine without something that is being given for free for those who seek it?
What kind of person is "fine", or satisfied, stopping at where they are in their relationship with God and sitting there, content to watch a deeper experience with Him pass them right by? That is not a person who is really hungering and thirsting after God. Is that not clear to you, too?
It really becomes irrelevant whether or not speaking in tongues is the New Birth experience. See, the argument that I've heard is, "I already have the Spirit. I am already right with God. I have already repented and been justified. I'm fine. I don't need that." But, try to follow my reasoning: If the experience of speaking in tongues is one given by God to whoever seeks after it, then if you haven't had that experience, there is room for you to grow in the Lord and there is something else that He is wanting from you – something else of which you need to repent, something you are still holding on to.
So, all the arguments fail. There is something that people without that experience haven't repented of. How do I know? Because God hasn't seen them worthy yet of that experience!
If those people wanted to know if it were real, their only option would be to start really digging deep within themselves and asking God to show them any hidden thing in them that He wanted gone, and they would really start to seek after Him (a "God-chaser", if you will)... and when they received it, they would know they had done whatever He asked.
It's almost insane if you really stop and think about it: how dare any of us say to God, "Hey, I know that this is something that You are doing for some people, but... well... no thanks. I don't really want it. Thanks for asking though. Besides, I'm just fine without it. And... to be honest, it makes me a little uncomfortable; it's really sort-of weird."
When people say those things to other people, do they think that God is not listening? How dare we – dirt! – tell our Creator that we don't want anything that He offers?? Even if it is a little crumb! And why do so many people go along with it when people do say that? Good grief. Sometimes, I want to get out of this world so badly and just go home....
Anyway, it all comes full circle. The real truth is, it is the New Birth experience because it is the only experience given by which GOD and not MAN says that a person has fully repented. And those who hide from it and say that they don't "need" it are really saying that they don't want it because they are unwilling to surrender some last thing(s) to Jesus and humble themselves completely at his feet.
There is no escaping what is right. People hide from it in every dark corner that they can find, but they aren't really hiding from anyone who is following God. The light shines right in there and says, "Come on out and be happy!" :)