It is not through a ritual; nor it is through religion. These articles focus on our responsibility - the things we must do, to become a "disciple." Note that this section overlaps some of the other sections related to being a "disciple," so articles found elsewhere may also focus on the answer to this question.
Scripture also tells us that God is the author of salvation. Though our primary focus here is on our responsibility as humans, we do not deny God's role - to initiate, enable and complete our salvation. In the end, we give all the praise, honor and glory to God, and take none of it for ourselves. (For articles that have this focus, see the section about salvation, and the articles about God's sovereignty.)
It's not just a prayer we recite, or a ritual we do. It's a way of life and a complete change in perspective.
The question, "How can a God of love send people to hell?" is an illegitimate question to ask, for it shifts the blame from us (the ones who have sinned), to God (the One who is sinless). It blames God for what we have chosen to do. Instead, we should be asking how it is possible for God to send us to heaven. Instead of blaming God for our choices, we should be praising God for his!
It's like a "help wanted" advertisement. Except in this case, we need the help, before we can take the job!
I am using the word "new" in the sense that the apostle John uses the word "new," to describe "the old commandment" we have heard from the beginning (see 1 John 2:7-8). The Christianity of the Bible is as old as the New Testament (and in some respects, it is as old as eternity) - yet it is still "new," in the sense that it refreshes the heart of the genuine disciple. Also, it becomes "new" when a person discovers it for the first time - and rejoices in it. This article is a challenge for us to examine the book of Matthew, in order to discover for ourselves what Jesus says a "disciple" is. There is no greater authority on this matter, than Jesus!
Jesus says ...
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:24-25)