Wasn’t Judas’ problem betrayal and not suicide?
I don't think Judas' suicide was the great issue. The main issue was the betrayal of Jesus. Jesus even said the disciples that it would have been better than the one that betrays the Son of Man not have been born. It just seems Judas will be judged for his betrayal than suicide. What a shame that we didn't choose to be born and can't end our lives without that consideration - about God - Jesus and Sin.
I am assuming that you are responding to this article on suicide.
The specifics of how God judges men are not left up to us to guess, regardless on how you or I feel. You may believe that Judas' worst offense was his betrayal of Christ and another might think it is something else. Our worst offenses are not the criteria by which we are ultimately judged. All men are judged for their life. Ezekiel 18 makes it pretty clear that the life that you lead is the one that you are judged by. Two contrasts are important. Ezekiel 18:21-22, "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live." And, in Ezekiel 18: 24 "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die." According to Ezekiel's explanation, how you lived as you ended your life has more to do with your eternal destiny than the specifics on what you did throughout your days. Repentance plays a huge role in how God judges events.
In the particular case of Judas, he has many problems. He was a thief (John 12:4-6), a betrayer of God and he committed suicide. Those are the bad things that we know about him. He may have also had some good points. That would be a natural assumption since there is no indication that any of the other disciples were disposed to assume that Judas was likely to betray Jesus. But Judas refused to turn to Jesus. Not long after Judas committed suicide, Peter explained to all who crucified Jesus how they could be forgiven (Acts 2:38) "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.'" If Judas had sought the Lord instead of seeking self-pity, he may have lived long enough to have asked for forgiveness. And once forgiven, he would have had no reason to commit suicide.
Another problem with suicide is that the person committing suicide is trying to tell God that he knows what his life will be -- as if he has knowledge of the future. The excuse is that his current life is not worth living. But none of us know what the future holds for us. Maybe our life is destined for something that we could not have imagined. Maybe we are destined for an ordinary life. Maybe we will live all of our days in misery. None of it is revealed. But often our life is based on what we make of it and not what it makes of us.
While prophesying about the Christian age, Zechariah says in Zechariah 13:9 "This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' " The symbolism of refining gold is packed full of information. As gold is refined, it increases in value and exhibits more of the properties of gold that people like so much. For example, rough gold can tarnish, but pure gold can not. In order to make gold pure, it has to be passed through a fire. The more pure gold is, the higher the temperature it can withstand.
The properties of gold that allow refining are that gold melts at a lower temperature when impurities are present and impurities in liquid gold (or almost liquid gold) move toward the heat. This means that the refiner needs to heat a gold rod or wire until it is almost melting and slowly pass it through the fire. As it passes through the fire, the impurities rise to the surface and follow the heat as it passes through the flame. The refiner's skill is in avoiding letting the gold get too hot because then it would melt and drip into the fire, introducing more impurities and requiring that the refiner starts over. After passing the gold through the flame, the refiner lets the gold cool and then he does it again. Only this time there are fewer impurities and the gold requires more heat to melt. The process is repeated until the gold is as pure as the refiner can make it.
What Zechariah is then saying is that God is doing the same thing with his servants, Christians. He is putting us through the fire of life, purposely making it so that we almost melt. But then he takes away the flame and looks to see how far along his children have changed toward becoming Gold.
Suicide is just a form of melting. It is admitting to God that you do not want to be gold. God, on the other hand, is looking for gold. Those that want to be gold will endure the pain, sorrow, or trouble that causes them to think about suicide and trust that God has a purpose for stressing out their life.