Seek a good testimony of God
1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
The problem of tongues in the congregation at Corinth was worsened by the fact that everyone was trying to speak in tongues during the meeting (vs. 23). If you were an unsaved fellow and happened into the service and heard that confusion, what would you think? Why, you would think exactly what Paul says you would think in verse 23: “These people are a bunch of kooks.”
But there has been many an unsaved person who has heard a sermon on the return of Christ, or has read a book on prophecy, or has seen some Christian movie on the Revelation and has come to Christ (vs. 24). That’s what prophecy does: it convicts and it judges (vs. 24). For the Christian, it edifies (vs. 22, 5).
“And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” (vs. 25). This is a good verse to apply to Bible preaching. When the Holy Spirit is in a sermon, an unsaved person will think the preacher has been spying on him. That’s because the Holy Spirit knows everything about you and is using that preacher to tell it. The indication in the verse is that the exercise of prophecy in the early church did exactly that. Don’t you know that would shake you up: to come into a service and hear the preacher talking about what you did the week before. But by doing that instead of talking in tongues, the church caused God to be worshipped and had the testimony that God was there.