He’s been in active ministry for 68 years, longer than most of his peers have been alive. He rivals Billy Graham in his longevity and, in his knowledge of Scripture, he may be in a league of his own. But he almost died in a hospital bed back in April, only to return six months later on Oct. 3 to share his back-from-the-brink story. He is Jack Van Impe, the man many refer to by his nickname, “The Walking Bible.” He earned the nickname for the way he quotes dozens of scriptures at dizzying speed over the course of a half-hour TV broadcast.

The 84-year-old televangelist returned to his show Oct. 3 with a message about the dangers of an emerging combination of Islam and Christianity, called “Chrislam,” and how it’s being promoted in a nationwide billboard campaign by a wealthy Muslim group. But before he got into that message, he shared about his brush with death. “I was on my deathbed. Doctors only gave me a 20 percent chance of living, 80 percent chance of dying,” Van Impe said. On April 10, a week after open-heart surgery, the doctors called his wife, Rexella, who is the co-host of his long-running show, “Jack Van Impe Presents.” They told her she needed to come to the hospital, soon. Her husband was passing in and out of consciousness and it might be time for a final goodbye. CONTINUE