(Rev. 3:14-17; 1 Cor. 11:19).
The shaking is not an arbitrary decree on God's part. The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy give distinct reasons for it. We will study these reasons in the lessons for today and tomorrow. It is especially important to understand this matter so we will not be among the people sifted out.
What is one basic reason for the shaking? Rev. 3:14-17 (compare Matt. 25:1-14).
Self-satisfaction and a presumptuous sense of security, which breed indifference, cause many to be shaken out, especially when they or the church receive trials that they have no inner strength to bear. Such people have few spiritual struggles, because they have no idea what it means to "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called" them (Phil. 3:14, NIV). When sacrifice and trial are called for, they depart from the faith, offended and dismayed.
"Lukewarm Christianity preserves enough of the form, and even of the content of the gospel, to dull the perceptive powers of the spirit and renders men oblivious to the earnest effort necessary to the attainment of the high ideal of a victorious life in Christ. The typical Laodicean Christian is content with things as they are and proud of the little progress he has made. It is almost impossible to convince him of his great need and of how far he is from the goal of perfection." - SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 761.
Frequently associated with this spiritual lukewarmness is an obsession with worldly gain. "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked" (Rev. 3:17, NIV).
Read 1 Corinthians 11:19 and Ephesians 4:14. How do "every wind of teaching" (NIV) and "deceitful scheming" (NIV) cause the shaking?
False teachings that undermine the power of truth have been introduced into the church since its inception (Acts 20:29, 30). Opinions that question God's Word will continue to enchant unstable believers until Christ returns. "The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on , and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth and to sacrifice for God and His cause." - Early Writings, p. 50.