It has been a remarkable transformation for notorious gang leader Rene Martinez, 44.
Martinez, who has been in jail several times, has been behind bars for everything from attempted murder to drug dealing, theft (including guns), and fights.
In an interview with Foxnews, Martinez said:
“I did some horrible things in my life that I know that it’s only by the grace of God and His mercy that I’m alive and free. I was gang affiliated from the 80s to 2012. I have seen a lot of people die in front of me and I’ve been through a lot.”
It started early in life. Martinez said his mother, who was involved in Santeria, sacrificed an animal over him as a child and growing up he was literally seeing demons. 1n 1989, at the age of 14, he joined the infamous Latin Syndicate on Halloween night.
But when his mother became a Christian shortly after attempting suicide, she began praying for her son and in 2013, while Martinez was performing gangster rap in his garage, Jesus audibly spoke to the gang member saying “I spared you for such a time as this.”
Martinez said after hearing those words:
“I saw my whole life flash before my eyes — when a gun was jammed in my face, when a bullet whistled by my ear — I almost died five or six times– and all my friends that died. God set me free for a reason. I repented right there.”
But his life took a dramatic turn in 2016 when Martinez was water baptized and it so impacted him, that Martinez took to the streets preaching the gospel and has even led a former Latin Syndicate gang member to Christ.
In Revelation 12:11, the Apostle John writes that during the end times, believers were able to “conquer” Satan through three things:
- By the blood of the Lamb,
- The fact they did not fear death, and
- By the “word of their testimony.”
I think many Christians underestimate their testimony which John describes as one of three main weapons of a believer.
When you look at Martinez, he was clearly in the grips of the demonic, but Christ pulled the gang leader out, revealing Christ’s power over Satan who had been given all the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5-6) and who Paul called the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Every testimony is a declaration Satan has been conquered and reveals his weakness because he was unable to stop his kingdom from being plundered.
Martinez told Foxnews, “No matter what situation you are going through, no matter how hard you think life is, there’s a way out.” He further described the power of his testimony to CBN stating that many people have become Christians because of it.