The Book of Revelation self-identifies as a letter to seven churches:
John to the seven churches that are in Asia -v.4
John explains his experience to them as follows:
I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” -v.9-11
One common teaching is that these seven churches are symbolic, and should be interpreted as seven successive "church ages." For example, the Wikipedia article on the subject says the following:
The messages to the seven churches, while being for actual churches, can also be applied to seven distinct ages of the Church.
My question here is not so much about the character of each church, or even about whether they do or do not correspond to the character of the Church in various eras since the time of Christ. What I am wondering is whether there is any indication in the text that these letters were meant to describe successive church ages? In other words, was that the authorial intent? I am specifically looking for exegetical support, if it exists.