God doesn’t force His love upon those who do not want it. With unconditional love, you have no choice–it is there for you whether you want it or not. While it is certainly true that the provision of love and grace in the form of mercy offered to the undeserving is available during this time of probation, we must decided if we want it. This is why Jesus says to us, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” KJV, Revelation 3:19-21, emphasis added.
Unconditional love requires no rebuke or chastening because there is no condition by which either becomes necessary. Unconditional love has no plea for repentance because there is no condition by which such a plea is needed. And yet Jesus reveals that He is a Visitor who knocks at the door of our hearts awaiting our response to invite Him into our hearts and lives. Unconditional love cannot challenge, even demand for, us to overcome as Christ overcame temptation to sin because there is no condition by which sin can be defined or recognized for what sin is. And where there is no sin, there is no need for forgiveness!
Note how Spirit of Prophecy helps us to better understand these distinctions made between repentant and unrepentant sinners:
“It is the love of God that draws the soul of Christ, to be graciously received and presented to the Father. Through the work of the Spirit the divine relationship between God and the sinner is renewed. The Father says: ‘I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people. I will exercise forgiving love toward them and bestow upon them My joy. They shall be to Me a peculiar treasure; for this people whom I have formed for Myself shall show forth My praise.'” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, Jan 2, 1893, emphasis added.)
“Christ came to reveal to the sinner the justice and love of God, that He might give repentance to Israel and remission of sins. When the sinner beholds Jesus lifted up upon the cross, suffering the guilt of the transgressor, bearing the penalty of sin; when he beholds God’s abhorrence of evil in the fearful manifestation of the death of the cross, and His love for fallen man, he is led to repentance toward God because of his transgression of the law which is holy, and just, and good. He exercises faith in Christ, because the divine Saviour has become his substitute, his surety, and advocate, the one in whom his very life is centered. To the repenting sinner God can show His mercy and truth, and bestow upon him His forgiveness and love.” (Ellen White, Vol. 1, Selected Messages, 324, emphasis added.)
“Christ might have spoken words to Herod that would have pierced the ears of the hardened king. He might have stricken him with fear and trembling by laying before him the full iniquity of his life, and the horror of his approaching doom. But Christ’s silence was the severest rebuke that He could have given. Herod had rejected the truth spoken to him by the greatest of the prophets, and no other message was he to receive. Not a word had the Majesty of heaven for him. That ear that had ever been open to human woe, had no room for Herod’s commands. Those eyes that had ever rested upon the penitent sinner in pitying, forgiving love had no look to bestow upon Herod. Those lips that had uttered the most impressive truth, that in tones of tenderest entreaty had pleaded with the most sinful and the most degraded, were closed to the haughty king who felt no need of a Saviour.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 730, emphasis added.)