These all died in faith. (Hebrews 11:13)
Christians have received great grace from God: we have been raised from death to life so that we can live by faith. But it is an even greater grace from God to be preserved throughout the entirety of our lives so that we can die in faith. That is indeed a divine death which brings almost unimaginable blessings to those who experience it.
The epitaph for the faithful, given from the pen of the inspired writer of Hebrews, echoes in eternity. It matters not how “these all” died. Some died at a ripe old age after many years of fruitful service to their God. Others were called home during the springtime of their lives. Still others died a martyr’s death. But regardless of the timing of their departure, they went out through the veil in faith, and that is all that truly matters.
What starts in faith will end in faith because the Faithful One has promised to preserve us to the end (Philippians 1:6). The saints of God who died in faith did not trust in their own merits nor rest in the glory of their own good works. No, they looked only to Him who gave them the faith they lived by and died in. Living by faith looks both to the past and to the present. Dying in faith looks to the promised future which we do not presently possess, yearning with confident expectation for “the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14), where the saints of God will enter into the unbroken and unchanging presence of their Lord and Savior and rejoice in every spiritual blessing.
Here indeed is cosmic comfort: Whether we live or we die, we do so in faith, trusting in the Lord’s faithfulness to His covenant promises. God is not a man that He should ever lie or change His mind (Numbers 23:19). The promises of God are as certain and secure as they are satisfying, and each one of those promises finds its “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
We all die; the question is how we will die. Either we die in faith or we die in our sin. To die in sin is to spend eternity separated from the love of God and surrounded by His eternal wrath and judgment. But to die in faith is to live submerged in the shining sea of the Savior’s eternal light and love.
So . . . how will your epitaph read when you breathe your last? If you are trusting in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, it will read as it does for all those in the “Faith Hall of Fame”—These all died in faith. And that is a divine death indeed!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!