Answer: Their faith in God and obedience to God’s will based on their faith is what distinguished them. “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (14) For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. … (16) But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Heb. 11:13,14,16 NASB) They looked for a heavenly country, Christ’s kingdom which while based in heaven will be implement on earth as well.
Because of their faith in God and His promises, they were obedient to God’s regardless of personal cost. “Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, (34) quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. (35) Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; (36) and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. (37) They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (38) (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (39) And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised.” (Heb. 11:33-39 NASB)
Their faith and obedience earned them “a better resurrection” than the rest of Israel and mankind. (Heb. 11:35 NASB)
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