An Ex-Mafia Boss Sharing God’s Word

Today is a very exciting Sunday in Restore Church. We’ve heard a very powerful message by the former ex-mafia boss Michael Franzese. We were on the edge of our sit as we listen to every word he said. He was one of the most notorious mob bosses of the 80s. After 10 years in prison, this former “Prince of the Mafia” is now a man on a mission for the King of Kings. He grew up as the son of the notorious Underboss of New York’s violent and feared Colombo crime family. Franzese was “one of the biggest money earners the Mob had seen since Al Capone” and the youngest individuals on Fortune magazine’s list of The Fifty Biggest Mafia Bosses, ranking #18, just five behind John Gotti. At his most affluent, he generated an estimated $5 to $8 million per week from legal and illegal businesses. It was a life filled with power, luxury and deadly violence.

He shared to us what their family went through as a kid and as he grow up hating the law enforcers, how they live the life under surveillance and the struggle of belonging to a mafia circle. Michael’s story is a modern-day Damascus Road experience, from his early days in the Mob and rise to power to God’s leading him to do the unthinkable: quit the Mob and follow Jesus. In fact, Nobody of Franzese’s rank had ever just walked away – and lived. Until now.

He gave up the mob lifestyle that he was used to initially for his love Camille but little did he know it was a divine set-up that will turn his life 180 degrees leaving his past behind and truly follow Jesus. What touched my heart the most was the time that he was thrown in “the hole” and kept isolated during most of the 3-year sentence in the prison cell. That was the worst time of his life, the very first time he felt hopeless and helpless but that was the time that he had a “one-on-one” encounter with God. After studying about 300 books about religion that was sent to him by his wife, he found the light in the Bible. He was able to reflect and God spoke to his heart. It was unexplainable how God changed his analytical thinking mind to a spiritual faith-filled one. Michael quoted “When you are at your worst, that is when God is at His best.” He can turn things around, He can make the most out of the worst situation we are in so we can hear from Him.

He is totally right when he said that the entire message of the bible is about forgiveness and redemption. He also emphasized that the sign of a real Christian is not to be perfect but ask for forgiveness for the sin committed and become better. We are going to sin but we have to keep in mind that God forgives all our sin. We can never be perfect but we can always become a better person than we were yesterday. Do not let the past haunt you because you are forgiven by God and born again. You can serve God regardless of your past mistakes because you are now a new creation in Him. If you feel unqualified to be used by God remember this: He tends to recruit from the PITS, and not the pedestal. Here are some examples: God found Gideon in a hole, Joseph in a prison cell, Daniel in a lion’s den and Paul in the midst of trouble. If you are at the worst time of your life and you thing that you are the worst person in the world, keep your head high because God is coming to rescue you. He will lift you out of the darkness and He will use you mightily for His Kingdom.

We do not need to live a mob life or experience a drastic change in our life so we can share a testimony or serve in God’s kingdom. May be you are called to share the gospel to one person that will eventually lead to his salvation. All of us are called by God to serve our purpose on earth. We are all a piece of God’s puzzle and we are all equally important. Are you ready to answer God’s call?

Remember these words from Michael Franzese “If you are not walking with God then, you are walking parallel to Him but at some point, it will intersect and you will encounter God.” 

Check his message: mob boss