By Don Alexander
Athletes spend hours each week in training. The Apostle Paul even alluded to this in his epistles (1 Cor. 9; 2 Tim. 2). A teacher has continuing education training in order to maintain credentials and effectiveness in the classroom. Employees in various businesses have to have training and in-services regularly in addition to routine instruction in the work tasks. In most counties today, even those who want to do home child care must undergo training in order to take care of children not their own in their homes. And the Christian, too, must receive “training in righteousness” in order to be “thoroughly prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Word of God is designed to provide such training and we must have it to properly train our consciences, exercise our decision-making, and live godly lives to influence others to heaven’s way.
Let’s do the math. Let’s say that I attend the three hours on the Lord’s Day service, hearing two 35 minute sermons and one 45 minute Bible class. That is (if I did my math right!) just short of two hours per week of instruction in righteousness. Let’s say that over the course of the year I average one sermon and one class because of being out of town, sick, asleep, etc. That’s 80 minutes per week. Take 80 minutes per week and multiply by 52 weeks per year. That’s 4160 minutes, or about 70 hours per year of instruction. The average person in the U.S. watches television 4-6 hours per day, or about 28-42 hours per week. Sitcoms on TV that are 30 minutes in length have only 22 minutes in actual content (after 8 minutes of commercials), so if you watch only one per day for a year or one half-hour news cast per day for a year, you will have watched 8030 minutes, or about 134 hours per year, almost double your yearly Bible instruction on a Sunday morning.
Of course, people also read the Bible on their own and study with their family, their neighbor, or others. They may also attend extra services like Wednesday night Bible class, gospel meetings, lectureships, etc. Do the math in your own life as a Christian and see if the “training in righteousness” you’re receiving from the Word of God is providing you enough to live so as to reach Heaven’s shore. My math may be off a little, and “statistics can be used to prove anything” as sometimes is said. But when we look deep down into our hearts, we know.