Our Sages made it clear that a person needs to be familiar with the Scriptures, the Mishna, and the Talmud. First he needs to learn the Scriptures, then the Mishna, and then the Talmud. If a person fails to do this in this world it will be an eternal loss, for only in this world can it be attained. In the next world, even if he gives up all his merits to attain knowledge of one verse, his request will be denied, because he wasted the chance he was given in this world.
A person should not deceive himself that he will be able to explain himself away in front of the divine tribunal, describing how busy he was with his children and work, because these excuses will not be accepted, as our Sages said, a poor person is asked, ‘were you poorer than Hillel the sage?’ And even if they would, it would only excuse him from the disgrace of his misbehavior, but it would not fill the void created by his negligence, and he would remain eternally devoid of understanding.