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If I encountered Latias, but accidentally fainted it, but then soft reset, would I not have to re-fight the E4?

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Soft resetting Sapphire should always load your save file, and whether you can find Latias depends on whether you saved after it fainted. You can see where Latias is by using your Pokedex. The repel trick works on it.
Awesome, I've encountered it again, but it ran away, so at least I know it's alive out there.
I'm gonna test this hopefully. Someone will probably snipe me though.
Why wouldnt this work? If you're resetting to before you knocked out Latias, then of course Latias would be back.
Yeah, it worked already.

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Yes of course it would just take you exactly to the point where you were before, and you would not have encountered Latias, therefore would not have killed it, therefore you wouldn't have to fight the Elite Four again to make him reappear.

Come on, that was an easy question

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Yeah, it works, I've almost got it now.