(CP) Michael Franzese, an ex-mob boss-turned-outspoken Christian writer and speaker, delivered a message at Pastor Greg Laurie’s California-based megachurch Sunday and careworn the significance of possessing a “wholesome” concern of Hell and everlasting damnation.
As a former second-generation member of the Colombo Italian-American Mafia crime household in New York, Franzese beforehand lived his life on the flawed facet of the regulation.
He as soon as held a caporegime rank, an influential function that gave him management over a “crew of troopers.” Working alongside his father, Sonny Franzese, he stole cash and engaged in different felony actions.
After being arrested on 18 totally different events, Franzese served eight years in jail earlier than he was in the end launched in 1994. During his time behind bars, a jail guard gave him a Bible, enabling him to find the excellent news of Jesus Christ.
Speaking at Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship, the previous Mafia “prince” shared how he developed a “wholesome concern of Hell” as a former inmate in solitary confinement.
“When I used to be in jail, I spent 29 months and 7 days in solitary confinement [in a] six-by-eight cell, 24/7. Me and God. … That’s not simple. We weren’t meant to be solo creatures. We had been meant to be social. [When] these lights [went] out at night time, lots of guys didn’t do effectively; lots of moaning and groaning,” Franzese recounted.
“I dove into my Bible. I prayed each day. It was my closest time with the Lord as a result of I had no alternative. That was it. … And thank God, I turned to Him and nowhere else. … But you recognize what occurred in that gap? I developed a wholesome concern of Hell.”
Franzese inspired the group to examine the fact of Hell’s existence.
“I need you to cease for a minute and consider the worst factor that you’ve got ever encountered in your life and notice that that worst factor won’t ever go away. … This is your fixed thorn in your facet ceaselessly. And now put your self in Hell, which is 1,000,000 instances worse and can by no means finish. That’s Hell,” Franzese preached.
“[The] Bible could be very descriptive. I’m not bringing you unhealthy information. I’m simply telling you the reality. The excellent news is we do not have to go there. There is a Heaven, and there’s a Hell.”
He mentioned that it’s good to have a wholesome concern of something that may doubtlessly be dangerous to an individual and shared how his sister died of a drug overdose on the age of 27 and the way his brother struggled with drug dependancy for 25 years.
After seeing what occurred to his siblings, Franzese developed a “wholesome concern of medication.”
“My father drummed into my head from the time I used to be a child that medication had been unhealthy,” Franzese shared.
“I’ve seen so many individuals die due to medication. I’m afraid of medication. I do not thoughts saying it. I by no means even smoked a joint as a result of I’m afraid I’ll prefer it. I do not wish to be addicted, so I avoid it. It’s good to have a wholesome concern of issues which are no good for you. That’s manly. That’s a person’s man that may resist that type of stuff,” he added.
Although Franzese mentioned it’s “good” to acknowledge God’s name to admit, repent, consider and evangelize, he careworn the significance of sharing the reality in a loving method.
“Jesus was direct when He needed to be, however He had a knack for speaking with gentleness,” he contended. “Today, our tradition appears to have fun males who communicate their thoughts and pull no punches as if being a bully is an admirable trait. On the opposite, Jesus Himself mentioned, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be known as sons of God.'”
Franzese emphasised the significance of “gentleness” when sharing tough truths with non-believers, including:
“Every time I [share] my testimony, I all the time go into the again room and I pray and I say: ‘Lord … give me the appropriate phrases. Let me be efficient. Let me be passionate sufficient in delivering this message in order that You can attain out and contact the hearts that You wish to contact on this room.'”
In concluding his sermon, Franzese urged viewers members to think about giving their lives to Christ earlier than it is too late.
“We reside in loopy instances,” he reminded. “We do not know from one minute to the subsequent what is going on to occur on this life. We actually do not. And I’m telling you, I’ve seen those that I like with me sooner or later, gone the subsequent. Shocking. We do not know. We’re not assured something. And what are you ready for? Why would you wish to take a look at it?”
“Why would you even wish to suppose that perhaps I’m not able to go to Heaven? … Why? I advised you what the profit is of emulating Jesus Christ. It’s a win-win state of affairs. … You cannot lose. … The solely method you lose is if you happen to do not confess your sins and settle for Jesus as your Savior. But in each different method, you win.”