05 Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea
Early in the history of the Christian church problems not unlike those at Pergamum developed when pagan practises began to make inroads into the habits and practises of Christians. John sees similarities in the experiences of Christians at Thyatira and the experiences of Israel in Old Testament times. He uses those experiences to depict what is now happening to them.
An important key to understanding Revelation is to see the Old Testament experiences of Israel in the language and symbolism John uses to explain what is happening to Christians.
The messages to Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea challenge Jesus' followers to be authentic, active and fully committed.