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Want a Longer, Healthier Life? Science Says Go to Church!

Church attendance is of serious importance, and finding a church that stands upon the Word is critical.
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Want a Longer, Healthier Life? Science Says Go to Church!

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From conception to the grave, and (amazingly as it might sound) before and even beyond, God’s Word, this glorious and supernaturally-authored Living Word, is the foundation and source of all that pertains unto us. 

I have been privileged to minister the Gospel for over 50 years.  At times, I have been called upon to counsel others.  I have discovered the measure of their Christian confession is directly reflected in their love for the Word of God and their daily commitment to it. I think a good rule of thumb is to spend as much time as we do in preparing and eating food to sustain physical life as we do in preparing and eating food to sustain eternal life.  This would include time spent reading and meditating upon God’s Words, attending church, ministering to others, and fellowshipping with the saints as well as time spent in prayer and fasting.

The Bible is not like other books comprised of the thoughts of men and devils, printer’s ink and paper. No, it is alive and the very foundation of the knowledge of life, and life more abundantly, even eternal life.  John 1:14 speaks of Jesus Christ:

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  

Revelation 19:13 speaks of Jesus and records, “…and His name is called The Word of God.To love Christ is to love God’s Word. To say I love Jesusyet have a small interest in God’s Word is a serious disconnect. 

Dear visitor, have you yet to be BORN AGAIN as Jesus instructs in the Gospel of John? 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.

Will today be your day to meet the LIVING WORD?  In just a few moments, I will invite you to follow me in a simple prompt.  If today, you follow from your heart, everything changes for you.  BORN AGAIN means born a second time, this time of the Spirit of God.  Today, you will become a new person.  Today, all of your sin and shame will be washed away by Christ’s cleansing blood. Today, all of Satan’s bondages in your life will be broken, no matter how formidable they may appear. Friend, this is a big, big deal! There is not an offer in this universe that can duplicate this offer of your soul’s salvation. Today, your eternal soul is in your very own hand. Here is the simple prompt I promised: Click onto Further with Jesus for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the invisible Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAYS SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Psalm 134:1-2:

1 Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 10:25:

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, Proverbs 11:19:

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

MAN SAID: I don’t have time for the Bible, or God, or going to church.  I’m too busy trying to find myself! Let’s face it, I need to know whether I’m a boy or a girl and what bathroom I should use once I figure it out.  You know how it is, right?

Now THE RECORD: Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 1119 that will once again contend for the faith.  All of these mighty features are archived here in text and streaming audio for your edification and as bait to be used by the fishers of men. Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.

Thank you for visiting.  May the grace of God be multiplied unto you.

What hallelujah magnificence!  The clean, pure, and perfect Words of God found in His Holy Bible can easily be classified as the greatest wonder of the world.  Imagine: In this living marvel, the power to become sons and daughters of God is revealed along with the secret of eternal life.  Yes, the very fountain of youth is discovered in Jesus Christ!  It is the ultimate Book of holy secrets and the map by which to navigate all in this life.  There is nothing like this Book on the earth, nothing like this Living Book, our living Christ.  It IS, He IS, the greatest wonder in the entire universe. And, I need to know it is true because everything depends upon it.  Really: EVERYTHING!

A recurring theme recited at GodSaidManSaid illuminates the blessing and the curse. It is a theme discovered in one of God’s cardinal laws, found in Galatians 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  

It works so childlike simple, too: Inherent within every commandment and precept of God is a blessing or a curse.  Because the commandments and precepts in the Word of God are the perfect and inerrant truth, obeying them yields the wonderful fruit, the blessing, of doing the right thing.  Because the commandments and precepts in the Word of God are the perfect and inerrant truth, disobeying them yields the rotten fruit, the curse, of doing the wrong thing. This feature will surely demonstrate this cardinal law once again and will address the incalculable blessings of Christianity and going to church.

The latest news on this subject comes out on the heels of Gallup’s latest research, which shows that attendance at a house of worship has fallen to an all-time low in the United States, just below 50%. For the most part, those falling out of church attendance will find themselves falling into a myriad of dark and negative issues. It’s a matter of reaping what one sows.

Before we get to today’s latest research, I will recount research cited in previous GodSaidManSaid features regarding Christian living and church attendance. 

God created a spiritual structure, a network of support, to instruct and develop us and carry us unto the eternal day.  A very big part of this structure is found in the physical church, and church attendance is required if one wants to be fully empowered.  There are a host of directives and examples regarding church attendance; for example, Hebrews 10:25:

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.       

Consider the five ministry gifts Christ gave the church for the perfecting of the saints, which, in a very primary way, function out of God’s pulpits.  Ephesians 4:11-12:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Church attendance is of serious importance, and finding a church that stands upon the Word is critical. Visit the features that follow for guidance. 

💒 GodSaidManSaid, “Only the Lonely (The Remedy for the Epidemic):”

When mans science digs deep, when mans science peers into the visible and invisible, when his research is published, Gods children of faith are already there with their banners unfurled. They always end up at our house, but they cant come in.  Access is only granted on ones knees with ears bowed down.

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 Womens 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. 

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]

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.  Gods house is the ultimate place for answers, vision, and encouragement.  The benefits of congregating in Gods house are more than I could number, yet Americans have rejected Gods offer by the millions.

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 didnt.  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 didnt. 

A Yale study reported that churchgoers were less likely to become physically disabled.  In a syndicated article released by Knight Ridder Newspapers, it was recorded:

Several studies concluded that people who attended religious services regularly are hospitalized less often and have stronger immune systems than people who rarely or never attend. 

Again, the Knight Ridder article cites a 1996 poll of family doctors [arguably some of the worlds most educated] and found that 99% believed spiritual practices and prayer can be helpful in medical treatment.  [End of quotes]

The headline from the January 9, 2014, MailOnline reads: Religious people take fewer sick days and are less anxious because spirituality offers a buffer against the strains of modern life.’”  The sub-head reads:

People who are religious are less likely to be stressed at work
They are also less likely to be depressed or exhausted
They are more likely to feel that their life has meaning

The research comes just after it was revealed that people who have a spiritual side have a thicker section of brain tissue than those who do not. 

The research, from Columbia University, also suggested that this thickening of the brains cortex could help to stave off depression.  The study authors believe this could suggest being religious changes the structure of the brain in a way which reduces depression risk.  [End of quotes]

🏰 From 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.comreads, 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 sickand when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster, Duke Universitys 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.  Theres a lot of evidence out there. 

Dr. Koenig 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, theyre 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 an 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 didnt. 

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. 

Crucially, religious people lived longer than atheists even if they didnt go regularly to a place of worship.  [End of quotes]

🏰 GodSaidManSaid, If You Want to be Happy for the Rest of Your Life:

August 14, 2015, the WashingtonPost.com headline reads, Want sustained happiness? Get religion, study suggests.   The feature follows:

A new study suggests that joining a religious group could do more for someones sustained happiness than other forms of social participation, such as volunteering, playing sports, or taking a class. 

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participation in religion. 

The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life.[End of quotes]

💒 GodSaidManSaid, “Go to Church: Live Longer, Even Forever:”

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. [End of quote]

Additional information concerning the Harvard study cited earlier follows. 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 wasnt involved in the study.  Newberg studies how prayer changes the brain and has identified direct and indirect benefits that faith provides. 

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]

When today’s unmassaged discoveries are aired, the carnal world often will find themselves knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door.  Keep that in mind as you take in the following excerpts from the July 12, 2022, article published in Science Daily, titled, “Spirituality Linked with Better Health Outcomes, Patient Care.” 

Spirituality should be incorporated into care for both serious illness and overall health, according to a study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Womens Hospital.

This study represents the most rigorous and comprehensive systematic analysis of the modern day literature regarding health and spirituality to date, said Tracy Balboni, lead author and senior physician at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Womens Cancer Center and professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School. Our findings indicate that attention to spirituality in serious illness and in health should be a vital part of future whole person-centered care, and the results should stimulate more national discussion and progress on how spirituality can be incorporated into this type of value-sensitive care.

Spirituality is important to many patients as they think about their health, said Tyler VanderWeele, the John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Harvard Chan School.  Focusing on spirituality in health care means caring for the whole person, not just their disease.

The study, which was co-authored by Balboni, VanderWeele, and senior author Howard Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard Chan School, will be published online in JAMA on July 12, 2022.  Balboni, VanderWheele, and Koh are also co-chairs of the Interfaculty Initiative on Health, Spirituality, and Religion at Harvard University.

They noted that for healthy people, spiritual community participationas exemplified by religious service attendanceis associated with healthier lives, including greater longevity, less depression and suicide, and less substance use. For many patients, spirituality is important and influences key outcomes in illness, such as quality of life and medical care decisions.  Consensus implications included incorporating considerations of spirituality as part of patient-centered health care and increasing awareness among clinicians and health professionals about the protective benefits of spiritual community participation.

Overlooking spirituality leaves patients feeling disconnected from the health care system and the clinicians trying to care for them, says Koh. Integrating spirituality into care can help each person have a better chance of reaching complete well-being and their highest attainable standard of health.[End of quotes]

“Get Jesus and get to church” the headlines scream:

🙏 Parade magazine, 2003: “Why Prayer Could be Good Medicine”

🙏 Health Day magazine, 2008: “Religion May Help Extend Your Life”

🙏 MailOnline.com, 2014: “Religious People Take Fewer Sick Days and are Less Anxious because Spirituality Offers a Buffer Against the Strains of Modern Life.”

🙏 WashingtonPost.com, 2015: “Want ‘Sustained Happiness?’ Get Religion, Study Suggests”

🙏 CharismaNews.com, 2015: “Healing Power of Prayer Undeniable, According to 1500 Medical Studies”

🙏 The Week, 2016: “Health Benefits of Church”

🙏 ChristianExaminer.com, 2016: “Do Church Goers Actually Live Longer?”

🙏 ChristianExaminer.com, 2016: “Going to Church Can Help Women Be Healthier, Live Longer”

🙏 Science Daily, 2020: “Unconscious Learning Underlies Belief in God, Study Suggests”

🙏 Science Daily, 2022: “Spirituality Linked with Better Health Outcomes, Patient Care”

They must end up here.  They have no alternative, yet they are oblivious to this reality. However, we are not.  I need to know it’s true and righteous altogether, and it certainly is.  Choose life in Christ Jesus and live.  Everything depends upon it.

GOD SAID, Psalm 134:1-2:

1 Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

GOD SAID, Hebrews 10:25:

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, Proverbs 11:19:

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

MAN SAID: I don’t have time for the Bible, or God, or going to church.  I’m too busy trying to find myself! Let’s face it, I need to know whether I’m a boy or a girl and what bathroom I should use once I figure it out.  You know how it is, right?

 

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, “Go To Church: Live Longer, Even Forever

GodSaidManSaid, “Only the Lonely

ScienceDaily.com, “Spirituality Linked with Better Health Outcomes, Patient Care,” July 12, 2022

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