An offer you can’t refuse

We all remember the line from The Godfather, as Vito Corleone instructs his “consigliere” Tom Hagan to make a certain person “an offer they cannot refuse,” which was Mafia-speak for “Do what I want you to do!”

Though the Godfather trilogy was fiction, based on some fact, we all know there really is a Mafia out there.

Michael Franzese, the real deal

Recently, I had lunch with Michael Franzese, a former mobster. He told me his story and shared how our A New Beginning radio broadcast had been a great help to him while he was in solitary confinement–or “the hole,” as he called it–in a prison here in Southern California.

Having no real knowledge of this mysterious world, I peppered Michael with questions about how the real mob worked.

From the Mob to the Lord

Michael was the son of a notorious kingpin in New York’s Columbo crime family.

Michael was once named one of the biggest moneymakers in the mob since Al Capone by Vanity Fair. By age 35, he was the youngest mobster listed on Fortune magazine’s survey of the 50 most wealthy and powerful Mafia bosses in America.

But amazingly, Michael came to Christ and got out of the Mob and now travels the world telling his amazing story. He has written a book about it called Blood Covenant.

We did an interview recently at Harvest, which you can see below.

19 thoughts on “An offer you can’t refuse”

  1. Paul says:

    Wow! That is definitely God at work. Only by the blood of Jesus! Glory to God!

  2. Scot says:

    What an awesome testimony and also a great interview.

  3. Josh says:

    An awesome interview. Our church was blessed to have Michael at our church Jan. 31 & Feb. 1 for a very special weekend. An awesome time and a very great guy!

  4. Barry says:

    I’m glad that people like Michael are coming to Christ. I’ve seen many mobster stories, where killing and stealing seems like nothing to them. And then they would go to church like nothing happened and say that they’re still going to heaven. I pray everyone who doesn’t believe in Christ will start, even the mobsters and gangs.

  5. Gilbert says:

    Pastor Greg, God is awesome. This testimony really hits home to me. I was saved after doing a few years locked up. Most of my friends continued on the same path and are now in prison for life, on death row, or in the mafia. I know how hard it is to get out of this lifesyle. I this is only possible through God, but God uses people like you to share the love of God to deliver those in bondage. May God continue to use you and Michael. My prayers are with you.

    Your Brother in His work,

  6. Elayne says:

    Affirming, Affirming, and Affirming! Michael’s telling of how his life was not protected, even under his earthly father, shows without a doubt how Jesus Christ is our only hope and role model. We never need to doubt God’s love or provisions for us! Praise God for saving Michael and allowing him to speak about his life and God’s amazing love!

  7. Larry says:

    What a interview. I attend Harvest and have for 11 years. I also was caught up in crime and prison time, 12 years in and out, until the Lord Jesus rescued me when I cried out to Him. Wow, what a life I have in Christ.

  8. Gina says:

    Pastor Greg, what an amazing interview! To see this man set free, serving Jesus, is making me tear up. Our God is so amazing. Just when I think I can’t be blown away by His wonderous works, I hear a story like this.

    Thank you for airing this. Now I am going to buy the book!

  9. Christina says:

    God is so good. God’s way are so high above our ways. Praise God for the new birth in this man’s life, and that the Holy Spirit moved you, Pastor Greg, to meet with Michael. It is my hope that many in the Inland Empire will see this interview. The Press-Enterprise says we are the highest county in crime at this time. Yikes! And many can be ministered to through Michael’s testimony and changed life. How awesome is our God! Blessings

    Micah 6:8

  10. Alex says:

    What a powerful testimony. I pray that the Lord protects this man as he tells his story about God’s amazing grace in his life. The Lord is so good and faithful. I am so glad that Michael can now use his life for good and for God’s glory. Michael’s been given another chance. Praise God.

    It’s so cool how God used you, Greg, in this man’s life and you didn’t even know it. What a blessing!

    Keep on preachin’ and teachin’!

    God Bless You!

  11. Renee says:

    Very powerful! Praise God!!!

  12. Sandy says:

    God’s love for us is so hard to understand. His love is so amazing!

    God chose Michael to share His kingdom and God chose me to share His kingdom. I am moved deeply to hear Michael’s testimony and it reminds me so much of God’s saving grace.

    Michael, if you are reading this, I rejoice with you and will pray for you and your family.

    God’s protection was on you in your former life, and His protection will continue to be on you because you have a story to share.

    Pastor Greg, I can’t even imagine how many lives you are touching in prison. I didn’t know radios were allowed in prison.

    Thankfully, I don’t personally know someone in prison, but obviously there are hurting people there with a lot of time on their hands.

    God bless you, Pastor Greg, and God bless you, brother Michael.

    Hee Haw from Texas,

  13. Joanne says:

    Great interview! Amazing story!

    It’s so good to see that Michael doest’t believe this damaging saying anymore, “God helps those who help themselves.” I hear that from my dear Catholic in-laws all the time.

    We recently went through a very bad time and my in-laws kept saying, “Well, you know, God helps those who helps themselves.” My opposing response was not received well.

    The point of the whole Bible is that human beings cannot ever save themselves in any way, which is why Jesus came. The sad thing is that far too many people will believe they can do it all by themselves. I suppose they think they can get to heaven in their own power, but they will realize in the end that they can’t.

    Please pray for my in-laws, Bob and Rose Marie.

  14. The Miranda Family says:

    Wow, Michael’s demeanor is so calm and cool and you can see God’s peace in him. What an amazing story; a story of how God can use anyone, even in prison. Thank you for sharing Pastor Greg.


  15. brian and connie says:

    What a wonderful interview. It shows how Jesus will meet each of us where we are at and can save anyone. It encourages me to not stop praying for my family members who are unsaved. We truly have an awsome God that loves all of us.

  16. Greg says:


    Greg Denham

  17. Gary says:

    Pastor Greg, thanks for sharing that. I love the honesty of Michael as he shared that it was really “self-serving” in coming to Jesus. I am so glad Jesus says come anyway. I too am just so self-serving. I received Jesus to save my own neck, and now I so often serve Him because it is the smart thing to do.

    My hope is in the Lord and His greatness, and the work of God within me. It is truly our only way out and our only righteousness. God’s mercy is truly amazing. I believe it is only by God working in me alone that I would be able to truly do something in a pure way, otherwise I’m just doing it be saved, or feel saved, or to get something in return.

  18. Dorci says:

    Wow, that is truly amazing. If there ever was proof of the resurrection power of God, Michael Franzese is it. Praise God for his testimony and for the face that Michael is willing to trust God with his life in order to share what the Lord has done in his life in order to magnify and glorify the precious name of Jesus. Thanks so much sharing that.

  19. Karen says:

    That was an awesome testimony of Michael Franzese. Surely, if God can save this man, He can save anyone. I pray this gets out to save many more.

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