Recently I bought a new t-shirt. The front says "Christianity is not a religion." Now that alone caught my attention, and me look more closely. I have a bit of a non-traditional background, having come to faith in Christ when I was 28 years old. Raised Lutheran, I was an agnostic for many years and looked into other religions. When I was "saved" it was very personal to me. I was down on my knees by myself in my one-bedroom apartment and nobody knew anything for quite some time. So I've always seen my relationship with Jesus as just that....a relationship.
The back of the shirt gives more detail. "Religion is humans trying to work their way to God. Christianity is God coming to men and women through a relationship with Jesus Christ."
I see so many "religious" people who live by rules and laws set down in their religious creeds. Even many Christians worry more about the "dos" and "don'ts" of the Bible than they do about actually seeking time with God. We can do nothing in our deeds that will make God like us more or earn us a place in Heaven. The Bible is very clear that we have a place next to God through Christ and how we know Him, not because of any other actions.
There's the old trope that "it's not what you know but who you know." This is especially true with Christianity.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33
Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
2 Timothy 2:11-12