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In Theory: How would you update the 'I have a dream' speech?

August 30, 2013

Aug. 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous “I have a dream” speech, which some say was so peppered with scriptural allusions that it was more sermon than speech.

Clarence Jones, a civil rights activist who stood on the dais with Dr. King that day, is said to have turned to the person beside them and muttered, at the start of the speech, “These people don't know it, but they're about to go to church.”

Q: If you were to give your own “I have a dream” speech today, how would your faith inform your dreams for a transformed nation and world? What quotes from Scripture might you hold up as a vision and inspiration for all?

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Mine is more than a dream in the sense of a fantasy or an aspiration that might go unfulfilled. It is more than a call to action, lest it fail. It is rather the hopeful and certain expectation that the kingdom of God will be established on Earth, directly ruled by his son Jesus Christ, and that all peoples will draw close in heartfelt allegiance to him.

Isaiah 2:2 promises the establishment of Jesus’ universal rule: “Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it.” Psalm 2 clearly identifies God’s son Jesus as the heir of this kingdom.

Scripture teaches that the hallmarks of Jesus’ reign will include justice and righteousness, peace and truth, gentleness, prosperity and abundance. It will be people calling to God and receiving his answer. It will be the exclusion of all that hurts and harms, of all that is wicked and worthless. It will be the defeat of sin and Satan and death.

In a bold prophetic prediction, Revelation 11:15 foretells the joyous words that will rock heaven and Earth: “There arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever.’” This is my dream. This is my confident expectation. This is the objective of all that I do in this life.

Pastor Jon Barta
Valley Baptist Church
Burbank

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