More on religion
Many are surprised to discover that the Bible denounces religion. Religion is defined as efforts one makes toward God. That is, striving to be accepted by Him. The Bible condemns this. David declared that any offering other than that of the self God despises (Ps 51:16-17). The New Testament affirms this when Jesus says God wants worshippers who connect with Him spirit to spirit, and in the context of revealed truth (Jn 4:24). It is interesting that the first recorded religious act is labeled "the way of Cain" (Jude 11), that individual who offered the fruit of his field rather than himself as did his brother Abel (Gen 4:1-5). Finally, Jesus told one of the most religious men on earth at the time that he wasn't ready for heaven, that he had to instead start all over, become a new person (Jn 3:1-6). Are you trusting in anything other than the free gift of God in Jesus, Who despite our inability to be good enough, made a way for us to be reconciled to God?
"But God deomonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8).