Some Bible scholars believe that these seven churches were selected by Jesus because they not only existed during the time of the writing of Revelation, they also believe He chose them because they would picture historical periods from the time of the Church's beginning at Pentecost, until the Lord returns to meet His followers in the air (Acts 2:1-4; 1 Thes. 4:13-18). Although the periods represented by each of the seven churches differs somewhat among the scholars, most would agree that each church appears to coincide with the experience of the Church throughout its existence:
Ephesus - Apostolic Church (30-100) - Busy organizing the Organization.
Smyrna - Persecuted Church (100-300) - Busy spreading the true Gospel of grace.
Pergamum - State Church (300-600) - Busy gaining political power.
Thyatira - Pagan Church (600-present) - Busy spreading a false gospel of works.
Sardis - Dead Church (1500-present) - Busy being divided / decomposing.
Philadelphia - Living Church (1800-present) - Busy being a faithful witness.
Laodicea - Apathetic Church (1900-present) - Busy playing church without Christ.
Ephesus lost its focus upon Jesus (2:1-7).
Smyrna was persecuted by Rome and the Jews (2:8-11).
Pergamum persecuted the Jews (2:12-17).
Thyatira is committing adultery with the government until Jesus returns (2:18-29).
Sardis is religious but spiritual dead; Jesus' return will catch them off guard (3:1-6).
Philadelphia is obedient to the Lord, who will return to "catch them away" (3:7-13).
Laodicea is a religious business exploiting the name of Jesus (3:14-22).
If you do not attend a "Philadelphia Church," you need to find one now!