What does it mean when it says in 1 Corinthians 13 that tongues may cease?

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:1 - 13

KJV - 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 09 2019 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that Paul is expressing the thought that gifts such as prophecy, tongues, and spiritual knowledge will all ultimately cease because Christians will reach a state in eternity where the need for them will have been done away with. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:10, "when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away."

All prior prophesied events will have been accomplished or fulfilled, and there will be no more future events to foretell in earthly time that will affect the state of the redeemed.

Tongues will cease as a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, or of His working in conveying the gospel message, because the number of the redeemed will have been brought to completion, and they will all be filled with the Spirit.

Special spiritual knowledge will be no more because, as Paul said in in 1 Corinthians 13:12, all the redeemed will then know fully, just as they have always been known by God.

However, love (between the redeemed and toward God) will still be needed, and will continue for all eternity.

December 09 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Photo John Moyo Christian youth teacher
I think that here Paul is trying to emphasize that love overreaches all else. The virtue of love transcends all and will never fail where and when other virtues such as prophecy, faith or knowledge might fail.

For it is by love that mankind is saved as John 3:16 says: " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

May 08 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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