Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our first reading for All Saints' Day is from Revelation chapter seven, where a dozen dozen of thousands (all significant numbers in their own right) appear before God's throne proclaiming salvation from "God" and "the Lamb" (v. 10). These people have come from every nation, and, importantly, they come "out of the great tribulation" (v. 14, ESV).
Teaching in which Revelation serves as a timeline of things to come is extremely common in popular Western Christianity. The model usually involves a period of tribulation lasting seven calendar years, which ushers in the end of the world. In these models, Christians are taken away from the world for their own protection, possibly at the start, in the middle, or at the end of the seven years.
A more historic view sees seven as a number significant of completion and the years being more figurative. It takes the tribulation as the time when we can also see Christianity on earth, always enduring some level of persecution but also experiencing the freedom of the Gospel. This is the understand Lutherans have normally held.
What is significant here, no matter the model of the end times you hold, is that God protects and gathers his people, even those who die for their faith, and keeps them for eternity. What of those who die as Christians but do not specifically die for their faith? I urge you to look at this passage carefully. The siants of God have died, yes. They have come out of tribulation, yes. But the text makes no mention of how the people died. Many endure harship and eventually die of natural causes and at peace. God gathers those people too. They too have had their sins washed by trust in Jesus' blood.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.