I have heard so many times over the years the idea put forth that man created 'religion' as a way to control 'the masses.' From a Christian standpoint for many reasons I consider that belief unfounded but one in particular I would like to point out is that when you look at scripture clearly we are offered the choice. God's word basically says "make your choice." As long as this earthly life endures it will remain - our choice. What happens after that, I couldn't say with certainty, but I believe that the decision we make here will forever affect our existence. It will mean we are either with God or separated from God.
Jesus pointed out that there are two roads: One road leads to life and the other to destruction. I don't know how it could be clearer than that. God's love "stretches forth" to us and He doesn't remove that love from us but we can make unfortunate choices in life which will lead us in another direction. We can choose another way and place ourselves at a distance from a relationship with God.
If there were two roads within your vision in the distance and you were able to perceive a state of peace and beauty to one side and darkness and fear to the other, what would your do? What would you choose? The truth about this is that until we come to Christ we do not make that distinction because what we're talking about here is a spiritual state of light or darkness, and we do not see that unless God opens our eyes to it. God's will is that everyone - that all will come to Him. We can be assured of that. But still, yes, it is and always will be, as long as we walk this earth in the flesh - it is our choice.