According to Acts 2, Jews from every "nation" converged on Jerusalem and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The amazing and remarkable happening was that although these foreigners were speaking the language of their native lands, those Aramaic-speaking Jews could understand every word. This was not remotely similar to the Glossolalia of I Corinthians 14. In other words, everyone heard the alien languages and needed no translation. The gift of God's Spirit was both sight and sound.
Last evening, a familiar voice from Sarasota, Florida, called and said, "John, I am very angry with God." The voice, by the way, comes from a 90-plus year-old and very sweet lady who still is a pillar in my old church. "I had to have a hip replacement and I knew I was not going to make it through the operation and would die on the operating table and wake up in heaven."
"Okay, so what's the problem?"
"Well, I was ready. I had lived a good life. Why didn't God take me?"
"Gee, Norma, I guess God wasn't ready."
This was not very satisfactory so she continued, "I woke up in the middle of the night, last night and here was the evangelist asking, 'Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and are ready if God comes for you?' That was the reason! John, do you remember our conversation 40 years ago?"
Yep, I sure did and repeated it so she would know I still had some pretty good recollections of the past. "You came in the office one day and were so excited because you had been taught the gift of glossolalia and wanted to show me, which you did. You wanted to stand up in church and share it with the congregation. Do you remember what I said?"
She said, "Yes. You told me that if I spoke in tongues, I'd better be able to translate."
"John, God did not take me to Heaven because I have not been witnessing about Jesus in tongues! I hope you're satisfied!"
A long pause while I get off the floor and take a deep breath.
"Norma, let's go back to the rest of the story. Old Paul told those pesky Corinthians — who also didn't like bagpipes that he could speak in tongues more than anyone — a truly humble guy, and added, 'I would rather speak teach using five understandable words than use 10,000 words so no one has the foggiest idea what I am saying."
A long pause from the other end.
"John, what must I do, if I left anything out, so God will take me to heaven?"
"Norma, you are one of the nicest, sweetest, Christian ladies I have ever met. God has done everything that has to be done and all we can do is to accept His gift and get on with living."
I thought about advising her to stand outside in a thunderstorm and hold up a one iron or wear a lucky ham, go swimming in Sarasota Bay to speed things up, but fortunately changed my mind. Since she knows me all too well, she would have laughed and said, "John, you haven't changed a bit."
We talked some more about Paul's letter and especially his teaching on witnessing in the fifteenth chapter. I guess Norma was moving on because she asked, "How are John, George, Jennifer and the grandkids?"
After another 10 minutes she closed with, "We still miss you."
My answer, "I still miss you, too. When you get to heaven, say hello to Jack for me."
She chuckled and said, "Bye."
What must we do to be saved? "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." God takes care of the rest.