Prophecy: A billion people will become Christians
Prophet: Bob Jones
This prophecy was made by a person who had a long history of making the most fantastic and oversized prophecies you could imagine (and he could imagine). It is inline with or an extension of his megalomaniac eschatology of Christian superheroes who will take control of the world with their super powers. It is “comic book Christianity” that started either when Bob Jones started reading comics or when he heard about and fell in love with Latter Rain (LR) theories.
It is part of a raft of LR ideas and really the easily predicted end result. The basic dream is that Christians of the future will have special spiritual powers and be able to perform special miracles. With all this extra power they will be able to get all these extra people persuaded to become believers in Jesus Christ. Because their power will be so great, a billion conversions is within the realm of possibility. It is logical but only if the underlying assumption is correct.
The base assumption is an unorthodox and controversial interpretation of Scripture by a boy who worked in a mail room during a revival in Canada and felt he was anointed. He wrote a book. The rest is history (or in this case the future). It is even crazier in some ways than the Mormon history of an adult who claimed he angelic experience. It is so cringe-worthy when you deep dive into its history.
So, anyway, of course people wanted to believe they would become extremely powerful, so they took the idea and ran with it. But when they never got the power they dreamed, the movement lost its appeal; it pretty much died down and everybody went home. It stayed in the background until enough people who were good at hype revived it. Bob Jones was one of the Latter Rain hype revivalists who revived it in the 1980s.
In his eschatology or imagination — it is usually impossible to tell which it is — future Christians will become perfect (sinless) and virtually as powerful as Jesus. This came from the guy who was caught in sin and banned from ministry.
The superhero element of Jones’ view of the future was encapsulated in his associated New Breed prophecy. The new superheroes he called the “New Breed.” He said Todd Bentley was the first of a new breed. He said this publicly in Lakeland, Florida in 2008 just before Bentley’s ministry collapsed in spectacular fashion. If the billion souls are supposed to get saved by the New Breed, don’t hold your breath.
The whole idea that a billion people (out of world population of over 7.5 billion) will become Christians is a total pipe dream!
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
This word has value for cheerleaders. It is good for rallying the troops. What could be more positive and exciting for those who want to see souls saved than to hear a billion will? But it is hype.
Various leaders including Che Ahn use it to get people excited. It has also been repeated on the Charisma website in 2016 (Che Ahn), 2019 (Patricia Bootsma) and 2020 (Holly Watson) with no critical consideration on whether it was invalidated.
You have to be more than your average eternal optimist to believe this prophecy. You also have to deliberately ignore every false prophecy Bob Jones ever made.
There is no wisdom with the word to say how anybody could get more power to become more effective at evangelism. This makes it very weak if not powerless.
The Bottom line
Extremely unlikely to happen.
When a prophecy sounds too good to be true it probably is.