"Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near." (1:3).
"...Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches..." (1:11). Smyrna and Philadelphia were characterized as good churches; Sardis and Laodicea as bad; and, Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyatira as part good and part bad.
It is possible these 7 churches are representative of the various types of Christians today. Even today Christians (individuals, groups & churches) may appraise themselves by these letters. Let us take notice, repent and change our ways!! This is especially important during the transition to a new era!
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Halley says, "Smyrna and Philadelphia, the two cities with good churches, are still flourishing cities. Sardis and Laodicea, the two cities with bad churches, are now deserted and uninhabited sites." (Halley's Bible Handbook).
Apostate churches are those who have the appearance of being Christian, but their clothes (deeds) prove them otherwise. Apostate churches are of this world similar to the Harlot of Ezekiel 16:14-18; also see Ezekiel chapter 23. Apostate churches will become a very big problem for God's People, especially during the transition to a new era as outlined in the book of Revelation. The apostate churches will become united and used mightily by Satan to torment and fight against God's people. Eventually the apostate churches will be overcome.
"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later." (1:19).