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Go To Church: Live Longer—Even Forever

People who attend religious services a couple of times a week may live longer, a new study suggests. In fact, the study even suggested that church attendance could be part of a doctor-prescribed health regiment.
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Go To Church: Live Longer—Even Forever

Article#: 1578

Choices are being made today.  You have made, or will make, a choice today—a choice that has immediate and eternal consequences.  Of the very last days—these days—the prophet Joel pens these Words of God, Joel 3:13-14:

13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Have you made your decision for Jesus Christ?  Have you been born again as Jesus Christ declares in John 3:3:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The time of judgment for the sons of Adam is knocking at the door.  Will today be your day to be born again, to be forgiven and delivered from your sin and shame?  Today is a beautiful day in the Kingdom of God.  Come on in.  Click onto “Further With Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT. 

GOD SAID, Hebrews 10:24-25:

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

GOD SAID, John 10:10:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

GOD SAID, Deuteronomy 30:19:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

GOD SAID, Proverbs 11:19:

As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

MAN SAID: We are moving forward into an enlightenment that has no need for God and His Christ—and certainly not His church!  Our banners shout “Man is Great!”

Now THE RECORD:  Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature 798 that will for the 798th time prove the full supernatural inerrancy of God’s Holy Bible.  All of these features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the sons and daughters of God and as fishing bait for the fishers of men.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.  Thank you for visiting.  May the blessing of our God fill your heart with hope, with gladness, and with hallelujah!  Psalm 118:24:

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

A global scientific field study is underway and the empirical data continues to pour in.  The mystery to solve was “Is the majority-text Holy Bible literally the written Words of God—even a God who created all that is seen out of that which is invisible?” Could it be true that every commandment and directive of God has inherent within it a blessing or a curse?  Could it be true that because the principles of God are the truth, that obeying them yields the good fruits of doing the right thing—and disobeying yields the deadly fruits of doing the wrong thing? Could it be just that childlike-simple?  Is Jesus Christ correct when He says obeying God’s Word will produce life and life more abundantly? 

A massive scientific field study has been underway since the beginning when, in the Garden of Eden, Satan challenged God’s Word.  Our parents chose Satan.  Since then, there have only been two camps, two doors.  Door One says God’s Word is “true and righteous altogether.”  Door Two says it is not.  Today’s feature will once again declare this reality. 

GodSaidManSaid has published numerous features on the marvelous benefits of the born-again life that is found in the Cross of Christ.  Today, you will read the latest information streaming in from the field study.  The headline in the June 3, 2016 issue of The Week reads, “Health Benefits of Church.”  The headline from Today.com reads, “Going to Church Can Help Women Be Healthier, Live Longer.”  The headline from ChristianExaminer.com reads, “Do Churchgoers Actually Live Longer?  New Study has Surprising Result.”

Before we address the latest discoveries making news, several excerpts from previous GodSaidManSaid features follow:

▶ GodSaidManSaid, “110,000,000 Americans with STDS—But It Didn’t Have to be That Way!

The situation: In the Old Testament of the Bible, God commands for male children to be circumcised, and now doctors in Africa have discovered that this procedure is their most effective weapon against AIDS, because it reduces the infection risk by half.  It will save millions of lives.  Yet a concentrated effort has been underway for decades to destroy male circumcision. 

In the camp of the disobedient: Those negatively affected: millions of deaths.

In the camp of the obedient: Those negatively affected: zero

NOTE: Circumcision is no longer a spiritual requirement for the New Testament believer, but it still demonstrates serious benefits to the human condition. Keep in mind that 90% of the world (or more) cannot access New Testament benefits.

The situation: God commands against the consumption of anything that harms the body (I Corinthians 3:16-17), and, of course, against anything illegal. 

The headline from England’s Daily Mail, concerning the use of marijuana reads, “Smoking Just One Cannabis Joint Raises Danger of Mental Illness by 40%.”  The following excerpts are from that article:

With up to 40 per cent of teenagers and young adults in the UK believed to have tried cannabis, the researchers estimate that the drug could be behind 14% of cases of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses.

Research completed by leading psychiatrist Professor Robin Murray in 2005 showed that those who smoked the drug regularly at 18 were 1.6 times more likely to suffer serious psychiatric problems, including schizophrenia, by their mid-20s. 

For those who were regular users at 15, the stakes were even higher, with their risk of mental illness by the age of 26 being 4.5 times greater than normal [End of quote]

In the camp of the disobedient: If you carry the numbers forward globally, those negatively affected would be into the hundreds of millions. 

In the camp of the obedient: Those negatively affected: zero.

The headline in the October 6, 2014 CBS Atlanta news release reads, “CDC: 110 Million Americans Have STDs at Any Given Time.”  A few paragraphs follow:

While the national media focus is on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the patient in Dallas, the CDC is reminding Americans that sexually transmitted diseases are an ongoing but hidden epidemic. 

In the United States, nearly 20 million cases of new STD infections are reported each year, reports Live Science.  Since infections can persist for a long time, and because some victims are not even aware they have a disease, it can easily be spread to others. 

Based on data from 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the eight most common sexually transmitted diseases are: Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B (HBV), genital herpes, HIV, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. 

About 50.5 million current infections are in men while 59.5 million are in women, for a total of 110 million Americans with STDs at any given time. 

Fifty percent of new infections occur in young people from ages 15-24 and gonorrhea is the most commonly reported STD in that age group.

New cases of STDs cost nearly $16 billion a year in direct medical costs, according to the CDC. [End of quote]

In the camp of the disobedient: In the U.S., 1/3 of the population has a sexually transmitted disease.  Carry that percentage over to the world, and in the camp of the disobedient, 2.5 billion are negatively affected.

In the camp of the obedient: Those negatively affected: zero.

▶ GodSaidManSaid, “The Literal Difference is Staggering—Part III:”

Many have railed upon good, sound Bible teaching, telling all who will listen that their God is not a God of do’s and don’ts, but a God of liberty. However, in most cases, this parsing of words really means, "I want to satisfy the lusts of my flesh in Jesus’ name." We must note that God is the God of liberty, but not liberty from God’s restraints. His restraints and directives are given in His Word to protect and deliver us from the bondage of sin and the hurtful lusts of the flesh. This is liberty.

Prepare for the staggering differences that prove, once again, that the God of the Bible IS, and those who follow His directives find life and find it more abundantly. The word is abundantly.

The situation: God commands against the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol and Christians
Wine
Wine II
Alcohol and Christians (Part Two)
The Curse of Alcohol

In the camp of the disobedient: 31,000,000 Americans last year reported driving under the influence of alcohol. Keep in mind that more than half of all vehicular deaths and various crimes have alcohol involved in them. 

In the camp of the obedient: Those reporting driving under the influence of alcohol: zero.

▶ GodSaidManSaid, “Meditation, Prayer, Church, and Words Make Big News, Again!

Has science proven any real, measurable benefit of prayer and of going to church?  The headline in the April 6, 2015 article published by CharismaNews.com reads, “Healing Power of Prayer Undeniable, According to 1,500 Medical Studies.”  Much of the feature follows:

For the devout, there has never been any question that prayer has the power to heal. 

Now, more and more medical research from leading hospitals and universities across the U.S. has shown conclusively a belief in God really IS good for you, making you healthier and happier, and helping you live longer. 

“Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick—and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster,” Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D. tells Newsmax Health. 

An exhaustive analysis of more than 1,500 reputable medical studies “indicates people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health,” Dr. Koenig says.

“And out of 125 studies that looked at the link between health and regular worship, 85 showed regular churchgoers live longer.  There’s a lot of evidence out there.” 

Dr. Koenig—director of Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health and the author of several authoritative books on faith and healing—says a striking study published in the Southern Medical Journal demonstrated that prayer has a remarkable effect on patients with hearing and visual deficiencies.  After prayer sessions, “They showed significant improvements based on audio and visual tests,” Dr. Koenig said. 

He added: “The benefits of devout religious practice, particularly involvement in a faith community and religious commitment, are that people cope better.  In general, they cope with stress better, they experience greater well-being because they have more hope, they’re more optimistic, they experience less depression, less anxiety, and they commit suicide less often.  They have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and probably better cardiovascular functioning.” 

The proof of the power of prayer is overwhelming, says researcher and writer Tom Knox, a one-time atheist who became a regular worshipper after doing in-depth study of the medical benefits of faith. 

“What I discovered astonished me,” admits Knox.  “Over the past 30 years, a growing and largely unnoticed body of scientific work shows religious belief is medically, socially, and psychologically beneficial.” 

Study after study backs up the benefits of having faith, especially in prolonging life. 

In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. 

“Religious attendance is associated with adult mortality in a graded fashion,” says Knox. “There is a seven-year difference in life expectancy between those who never attend church and those who attend weekly.” 

The American Journal of Public Health studied nearly 2,000 older Californians for five years and found that those who attended religious services were 36 percent less likely to die during that period than those who didn’t.

A study of nearly 4,000 older adults by the U.S. Journal of Gerontology revealed that atheists had a significantly increased chance of dying over a six-year period than the faithful.

The American Society of Hypertension established in 2006 that church-goers have lower blood pressure than non-believers. [End of quotes]

GodSaidManSaid, “The Amazing Power of Going to Church:”

The marvelous benefits of serving Jesus Christ cannot be fully enumerated—not even close.  The goodness of God is so gloriously vast and it never ends.  Feature after GodSaidManSaid feature continues to count the ways. 

When man’s science digs deep, when man’s science peers into the visible and invisible, when his research is published, God’s children of faith are already there with their banners unfurled. 

The following sentences are from the November 26, 2008 article, Religion May Help Extend Your Life, published by HealthDay:

The study participants came from the large Women’s Health Initiative observational study, and included nearly 95,000 women from all over the United States.  The women were all between 50 and 79 years old at the start of the study. 

When the researchers adjusted the data to account for the physical health, age, ethnicity, income, education, social support, important life events, and life satisfaction, they found that weekly religious service attendance was responsible for a 20% reduction in the risk of death.

Dr. Harold G. Koenig, founder and co-director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health at Duke University Medical Center, called the new research “a very well-done study that provides good, well-controlled evidence that religious attendance is related to lower mortality.” [End of quote]

Concerning prayer, Dr. Dale Matthews of Georgetown University, author of The Faith Factor, reports that 75% of all research on studies of spirituality has confirmed health benefits.  He said, “If prayer were available in pill form, no pharmacy could stock enough of it.” [End of quote]

The following excerpts are from a March 2003 article in Parade magazine titled, “Why Prayer Could Be Good Medicine:”

• According to University of Miami research, AIDS patients who became long-term survivors were more likely to be those involved in religious practices and engaged in volunteer work. 

• In studies at several medical centers, prayers and faith have been shown to speed recovery from depression, alcoholism, hip surgery, drug addiction, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, and bypass surgery.  [End of quote]

Dr. Dossey, a medical internist, authored Healing Words and Prayer is Good Medicine.  In his book, he states:  “I decided that not using prayer on behalf of my patients was the equivalent of withholding a needed medication or surgical procedure.” [End of quote]

Many marvelous things happen in a church where the Word of God is honored.  In the house of God, a believer is instructed in righteousness and is ministered to in a myriad of ways.  It is a place of community and powerful support.  God’s house is the ultimate place for answers, vision, and encouragement.  When Jesus Christ resurrected from Abraham’s Bosom, He gave gifts unto men for the perfecting of the saints.  The gifts He gave are gifts of ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:8-12).  The primary setting for these ministry gifts to operate is in the formal church setting.  The benefits of congregating in God’s house are more than I could number.

Hundreds of studies have been, and are presently being, conducted to ascertain whether there is any connection between religious faith and health.  Some of the latest results are shocking to the unbelieving world.  In 1999, the results of a study conducted by the University of Texas were published.  Twenty-two thousand people were followed over a nine-year period.  Those who attended church or synagogue more than once a week lived an average of eight years longer than those who didn’t.  Let me say it another way: Those who attended church more than once a week lived 2,920 days, or 11% longer than those who didn’t. [End of quotes]

The scientific field study goes on and the empirical data keeps rolling in.  From The Week, June 3, 2016, excerpts from the feature, “Health Benefits of Church,” follow:

People who attend religious services a couple of times a week may live longer, a new study suggests.  Harvard University researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study, a survey of 74,534 healthy, primarily Christian women.  At the start of the study in 1992, participants were asked how often they went to church; the researchers then tracked them for 20 years.  By 2012, 13,537 of the women had died.  After adjusting for other risk factors, it turned out that the ones who attended services more than once a week were 33 percent less likely to have died of any cause than those who never went at all.  “There is evidence that it provides social support, discourages smoking, decreases depression, and promotes optimism or hope,” study author Tyler VanderWeele tells MedicalDaily.com.  [End of quote]

Several paragraphs follow from the May 2016 feature, “Do Churchgoers Actually Live Longer,” published by ChristianExaminer.com:

The latest study was posted this month on the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) website and showed that among women, frequent attendance at religious services “was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.” 

In fact, the study even suggested that church attendance could be part of a doctor-prescribed health regiment.  Unlike a similar, earlier study, this one did not involve men.

“Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate,” the study found. 

It is not the first study to show a church attendance/health correlation.  In 2004, a 12-year study was released showing that people over the age of 65 who attended church services at least once a week were 35 percent more likely to live longer, compared to those who never attended church.  It also showed that regular church attenders were less likely to have cardiovascular or high blood pressure problems and more likely to have a stronger immune system. [End of quotes]

Several paragraphs follow from the May 16, 2016 feature, “Going to Church Can Help Women Be Healthier, Live Longer:”

Churchgoing aunts, grandmas, and moms might be on to something.  A study from JAMA Internal Medicine finds that women who attend religious services more than once a week have a 33 percent lower risk of death than women who never attend. 

“Religious attendance is a relatively good determinant of health,” says Tyler VanderWeele, a professor of epidemiology at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard and author of the study.  “It is perhaps an under-appreciated health resource.” 

VanderWeele looked at data from 1996 to 2012 from the Nurses’ Health Study, a longitudinal study following 74,534 women.  Of the women, 14,158 went to church more than once a week; 30,401 went weekly; 12,103 went less than once a week; and 17,872 never went.  The church ladies were either Catholic or Protestant.  Over the years, 13,537 women died with 2,721 dying from cardiovascular disease and 4,479 from cancer. 

Yet, the church ladies were less likely to die.  Overall, frequent churchgoers were 33 percent less likely to die than their non-churchgoing peers.  Women who attended church more than once a week were 27 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 21 percent less likely to die from cancer compared to women who never went to church. 

The results of this study reinforce what experts already know about religion and health, says Andrew Newberg, director of research at Jefferson Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study.  Newberg studies how prayer changes the brain and has identified direct and indirect benefits that faith provides.  Many religions caution people against drinking, smoking, and being promiscuous, and recommend dietary restrictions.

While following these rules isn’t strictly religion, adherence improves health.  Feeling supported and feeling a sense of community also boosts health indirectly. 

The direct benefit?  Believing God has your back may help people feel optimistic. 

“Being a religious or spiritual person can not only reduce general anxiety [but also] reduces the big anxiety, the ontological anxiety about death and the meaning of life,” Newberg says. 

VanderWeele also found that frequent churchgoers experienced less depression and anxiety than those who skipped services.

Religion “encourages an aspect of hope and provides a coherent framework of meaning and a way of looking at the world, which I think can help at times of stress,” says Newberg.  [End of quotes]

Embrace God’s Word, the first door, and have life—and have it more abundantly.  The empirical data is in.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 10:24-25:

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

GOD SAID, John 10:10:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

GOD SAID, Deuteronomy 30:19:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

GOD SAID, Proverbs 11:19:

As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

MAN SAID: We are moving forward into an enlightenment that has no need for God and His Christ—and certainly not His church!  Our banners shout “Man is Great!”

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

“Health Benefits of Church,” The Week, June 3, 2016

Foust, M., “Do Churchgoers Actually Live Longer?  New Study Has Surprising Results,” ChristianExaminer.com, May 17, 2016

GodSaidManSaid, “110,000,000 Americans with STDS—But It Didn’t Have to be That Way!

GodSaidManSaid, “Meditation, Prayer, Church, and Words Make Big News, Again!

GodSaidManSaid, “The Amazing Power of Going to Church

GodSaidManSaid, “The Literal Difference is Staggering—Part III

Holohan, M., “Going to Church Can Help Women Be Healthier, Live Longer,” Today.com, May 16, 2016

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