repent and believe
Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
To repent means to change direction and to change our mind. We change direction by turning from sin, self and life lived on our own terms to follow Jesus; and we change our minds by agreeing with the Bible that Jesus is Lord and we are not.
To believe in the Gospel means to put the full weight of our trust in Jesus’s death and resurrection alone for our salvation as the only way to be forgiven. This requires total surrender.
In summary, Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good, He came to die for our sins and make spiritually dead people come alive. There’s nothing we could ever do to make ourselves spiritually alive and go to heaven, we all need Jesus.
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly."