Unless you are a New York Mets fan or a baseball fan in general, you have probably never heard of Jacob deGrom. Yet last night, he broke a record that had stood for over 100 years. Yet, there was very little reason to celebrate. Each year in baseball, Major League Baseball awards a specific award to a pitcher in each the American League and the National League. The award is call the CY Young Award. It is typically given to the best pitcher in each league. However, that will most likely not be the case in the National League this year. That is because according to most stats, deGrom is the best pitcher in the National League. However, he is on one of the worst teams in all of baseball. Last night, deGrom broke the record for the most quality starts for a pitcher. A quality start is considered to happen when a pitcher pitches at least six innings in a game and gives up less than three earned runs in that time. As a former pitcher I have to say that is amazing. But rather than being able to celebrate this historic feat, deGrom had to watch his team waste another great outing of his as the Mets lost the game. For what it’s worth (which is very little honestly), I think deGrom should absolutely be given strong consideration for the CY Young Award even though his wins-losses record isn’t as good as some other pitchers. He has done over the course of the year everything he could to help his team win. Maybe you are wondering, what does this have to do with Christianity or evangelism? It actually perfectly illustrates evangelism and salvation.
Jacob deGrom is one player on a Major League Baseball team. He pitches every fifth game, but he is only one player out of nine in games that he pitches. All he can do is give his best, and put his team in the best position possible to win the game. In the same way, all you and I can do when it comes to sharing the Gospel is share the Gospel. No amount of eloquent speech, charisma, or a flawless Gospel presentation can guarantee that the person places their faith in Jesus. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility. Romans 10:13-15 clearly says that God has sent us to preach the Gospel, and as we do God has promised to save some. But we aren’t in control of how many people surrender their lives to the grace of God and place all their faith in Jesus’ work on the cross. All we can do is pray before we share the Gospel, share the Gospel, and pray after we have shared the Gospel. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3, he planted, Apollos watered, but it is God who gives the increase.
We can’t save a person, but we can certainly tell them how they can be saved. Let us remember Jesus’ words in Luke 10, “see that the fields are white for harvest. Pray that the Lord would send forth more laborers.” Each day, pray that you would be obedient to share the Gospel and pray for other Christians you know to be obedient in sharing the Gospel as well. Then pray that God would soften the hearts of those who will hear the Gospel that day, that they may surrender to God’s grace and be saved.