The purist definition of a Christian is a "little Christ". Acts 11:25-26 says, Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." "Christians" was a name given to the disciples that was intended to be derogatory, but, in contrast, was taken as a complement because the followers of Jesus thought it to be an honor to be accused of being those who fully emulated Jesus in who He is and what He does.
Now to answer your question, Christianity is composed of those who are Christians, or disciples of Jesus Christ. A person can most certainly be saved, knowing Christ as their personal Saviour, and not be a Christian because they do not follow Jesus with all their hearts. (Examples of these are throughout this website.) Therefore, following Christ and receiving His gift of eternal life are entirely two separate points. A person can get saved by receiving Jesus as their Saviour but not follow Him with their lives. However, no one can truly follow Jesus without first receiving Him, becasuse He is the eternal life. (I Jn 1:1-3)
Therefore, the way to God is not our own will in following Jesus, but is Jesus Himself. You cannot put the cart before the horse. John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto Him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." The way to get to God and Heaven is through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh. John 1:1,14 say, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.) Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to come from Heaven to Earth to suffer and die for our sins. He was buried and rose again the third day, proving Himself to be God. (Rom 1:3-4, I Cor 15:3-4) Because we are all sinners, we could never get ourselves to Heaven (Rom 3:23), but we actually deserve to go to the lake of fire. (Rom 6:23, Rev 21:8) But because Jesus loves us so much, He took our place and gave us all the opportunity to go to Heaven through His death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Eternal life is a gift and there is only one thing a person can do in order for a gift to be their's, and that is to receive it. You cannot earn it or give anything in exchange for it, because then it would not be a gift. You need to confess that Jesus is God. There are alot of "Daniels" in the world. I'd venture to say there are probably even a few "Daniel Brinegars". But none of those match my identity. The Bible speaks of people preaching "another Jesus". (II Cor 11:4) The fact of the matter is that a person needs to call on Jesus Christ, Who is God or they cannot be saved. Also a person must believe that Jesus not only died for our sins, but also that He was buried and that He rose again from the dead. (No one can call on a dead Saviour. Jesus is alive!) Romans 10:9 says, "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." Then Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." So believing that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, proving Himself to be God, the one thing a person needs to do in order to get to Heaven and "get to God" is to ask Jesus for eternal life. Jesus refered to the act of receiving eternal life as being "born again". (Jn 3:3, 7) No one gives birth to themselves, nor does anyone ever become unborn once they are born. The same principles are true for eternal life. Once a person receives eternal life, they can't lose it. God does not want us to live for Him and be Christians out of fear of going to Hell if we don't. But God wants us to live for Him out of love for Him and grattitude for His love for us and the fact that we have eternal life forever even if we don't live for Him. How could someone not want to serve a Wonderful Saviour like that?!
If you have any questions or coments pertaining to this response, you may post them here on the web or drop me an e_mail at email@example.com. Please try to do it before this Monday because, Lord willing, I'm leaving for basic training for the Marine Corps on Monday so it would take me three months to respond if you don't.