Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Of course we know that a relationship with Jesus Christ has eternal benefits (Think John 5:24-25, Ephesians 2:8-9). That is, our ultimate reward comes in the future, after our deaths (Think Romans 6:5). In the mean time, in this life, we gather together with the other faithful to worship our Redeemer and to partake of his divine nature (Think 2 Peter 1:4). That is why we worship: because it is pleasing to God, and it is our job description as believers.
But now, researchers have demonstrated two very earthly–and very sound–reasons to attend worship.
1) You will live longer. Researchers at Yeshiva University studied a large sample of women and discovered a surprising correlation: Women who attended religious services regularly had a significantly lower death risk (20% lower). Eliezer Schnall, lead author of the study commented: “Interestingly, the protection against mortality provided by religion cannot be entirely explained by expected factors that include enhanced social support of friends or family, lifestyle choices and reduced smoking and alcohol consumption…There is something here that we don’t quite understand.”
2) You will get better grades. Researchers found that teenagers who attend worship weekly had significantly higher grade point averages (GPAs). In fact, it was a more important factor than the educational attainment of their parents! In addition to higher grades, worship attendance also had a positive correlation with a host of other healthy behaviors.
So, there you have it. Two good, concrete reasons (in addition to the peace, hope, and sanctification that comes from communing with the living God, of course) to attend worship this Sunday.