The scriptures set forth the simplicity of God's pathway to heaven.
We must acknowledge:
God for Who and What he is - the Creator of everything. Recognize our humble place in his created order and purpose. There is no excuse for failure to do so, even without the Bible, because the created world testifies of him. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… - Romans 1:20-21 (See also Psalms 19:1-6)
We don't have to do or leave undone anything to become a sinner. We are born stained with an inherent nature to sin. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." - Romans 5-12 (See also I Corinthians 15:21)
Yes, babies are born sinners. A good analogy: A duck is born a swimmer, He is not born swimming, but it doesn't take long for him to begin. Same with mankind.
No one escapes the inherent sin nature (except Jesus, who was born without sin.) All mankind fails to measure up to God's standard for being in his presence. It's like being quarntined with the disease of sin. For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.- Romans 3:23.
There is a penalty for remaining diseased with sin. For the wages of sin is death… - Romans 6:23. This is referring to both the physical death which comes to all because of our inherent sin nature, but also, much more significantly, the second death, isolated from God, in torment of body, soul and spirit for eternity, always dying but never the escape of final death.
God in his love and mercy provided a way for us to be forgiven and escape this horrifying second death. …the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - Romans 5:23.
God showed his grace and great love for man by giving us a way out of the damnation of our sin through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.“But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8.
5. The first instruction of the scripture is to repent (metanoesate - from Koine Greek). Recognize and acknowledge that you are forever lost and undone, because you are a sinful being. "Repent" carries the connotation of changing directions in your natural moral, and ethical desires.
Repentance is being convinced in your mind and convicted in your heart to turn around from the direction you have been following and go a new direction - God's direction through his son, Jesus Christ.
6. Confess the Lord Jesus Christ, understanding there is nothing you can do for yourself. Christ willingly suffered the punishment due you when he died on the cross. He bore your sin. Your name was on his mind and in his heart as he endured agony destined for you. Without him, you're irrevocably lost for all eternity. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. - Romans 10:9
7. Believe in your heart that Christ gave his life, was buried and rose again to pay your debt of sin. For with the heart man believeth unto righteous-ness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10-10.
To believe in the Lord Jesus is not merely an intellectual acceptance that the information about Him in the Bible is historically accurate. This kind of belief is faith, Faith in Christ means trusting that the perfect life of God’s Son Jesus satisfies all the requirements for being acceptable to God forever, and that His death satisfies all the righteous wrath of God upon your sinful failure to keep those requirements.
Ask for forgiveness and redemption by the blood of Jesus. Who his own self
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. - 1 Peter 2:24
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. - John 10:9
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. - Acts 2:21
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. - Romans 5:9
There are no other religious formulas to follow, no rituals. No, you don't have to be baptized, go to church, be a good person. God made it easy so man is without excuse (and also without bragging rights that he did even a little bit himself.)
How do you ask/call on the Lord? Prayer. From the heart with repentance, confession of your sinful condition, surrender to your helplessness and ask for mercy for Jesus sake because he paid your debt at Calvary and you accept and claim his sacrifice on your behalf.
It doesn't have to be fancy; God sees beyond your words. There are a number of versions of the "Sinner's Prayer" for those who would like an example. Here's one:
Lord God Almighty, Father in heaven,
I am a sinner, lost and undone,
on my way to eternal suffering in a devil's hell.
There is nothing I can do to save myself.
I believe Christ gave his life and rose again in payment of my sin.
I accept and claim the gift of his suffering as the all-sufficient sacrifice on my behalf.
I ask, Lord, in your grace and mercy, you save my soul, and bring me into your family as your child.
You say if I ask, you will save me for Jesus sake. I am asking right now, and believe you have saved me.
Thank you for your mercy and love to me. I ask that you strengthen my faith and guide my understanding as I learn to follow you in the days to come. Amen.
Christ died for you. The gift of redemption is yours. It has always been yours, since the beginning of time, God knew your name and made provision for you to spend eternity in heaven in fellowship with him. This gift will be yours until the day you die in rejection of Almighty God. There is no going back for a do-over once death claims your life on earth. Only judgment awaits.
You may throw the suffering and sacrifice of God’s Son back in his face by the decision of rejection. God will not force you. He wants eternal fellowship with His children by their choice and faith. No one can choose for you. Not choosing is a choice. Postponement is a choice. That choice is available until the door is slammed shut for eternity by your physical death. Every moment you hesitate is the riskiest, most foolish gamble of all eternity. The stakes are your eternal welfare, happiness, and fellowship with God. You lose, you’ll spend eternity in a place of damnation and torment never intended for you. The choice is entirely yours. Why would you choose eternal suffering and damnation when eternal happiness, love, and fellowship is a free gift? Why take the risk of putting in off when we have no guarantee on the next breath of life?