If being a follower of Jesus is about anything at all, it is about the good news of grace, not the bad news of religion. Although religion is at root a good word, it has become negatively associated with a system of rituals designed to appease an angry deity, who capriciously demands our obedience, and who then might reward us with heaven if we behave accordingly. While this might be a caricature, I have met many people who hold this view (Christians and non-believers alike). This is what happens when we make God out to be a larger version of ourselves, because this is certainly how humans run the world, running a rewards based system that benefits the industrious and powerful.
A more careful reading of the scriptures reveals something vastly different. We discover in Jesus Christ, that God is a community of three persons whose core essence is loving relationship. And that God's fundamental posture towards the world is to include and bless human beings within that relationship. This is accomplished through one way love, the kind of love that looks directly at our brokenness and violence and doesn't turn away, but embraces it and heals it through suffering. This is grace. The truly astonishing thing is that this is given to every human being without qualification, and when embraced, is the entrance into aliveness. Words cannot really capture it, but, it is about becoming more profoundly human than what we might ever have imagined. This is something we continually explore here at Two Rivers Church - why don't you check it out?