There is a debate because a Pentecostal minister says that he dreamed some time ago that the liberality of abortion in Victoria would bring about a disaster like fire, as God withdraws his support from the people there. Others are upset and angry at such theories and remind people of the continual mercy and consolation that God provides. Both sides accurately cite scripture. So what should people think?
First of all, there is no new revelation, so those who dream that God is directly telling them something (especially of a prophetic nature) must use a great deal of discernment in understanding their dreams and intuitions. Remember that Jesus Christ himself did not know when the Second Coming would occur, for example, so God certainly will not give advance warning to anyone of anything apocalyptic or revelatory in nature: all that is going to be said on those subjects is already said in the scriptures.
Having said that the Holy Spirit works tirelessly among all people-believers and unbelievers-to attract them toward God and at the very least to do the best of moral and good things. Thus it is possible for people to have accurate premonitions. ESP is a fact and I recently wrote about it. So yes, both believers and unbelievers can have premonitions and accurate dreams of foreboding. The trouble is that people tend to dream using authority figures that they believe in, so a religious person will tend to dream of a premonition coming from a religious "authority figure," such as God, that the person believes in. A nonbeliever might have an equally valid premonition, but his or her dream may feature a person from the family, or someone from TV, or a historic figure... the assignment of revelatory seeming roles in dreams tends to be very individual and cultural. For example, Americans, obviously, rarely dream of the Queen of England, however she is a regular figure in dreams of British males, at least she was when I read of a study conducted about twenty years ago. So the Holy Spirit pushes all people to be good neighbors and to do the best that they can, and hopefully to become faithful believers in God, while at the same time, humans possess extra sensory perception, which gives various people remarkable insight in certain occasions.
Now, to the salient point. I've written before about God's wrath, sometimes called smiting, and warned that it is real and God will and does smite, but there are two things you must realize to put this in context. One is that God rarely smites directly and the scriptures indicate this quite clearly. It is only at times of egregious sin and corruption that God smites. One does have to have a little bit of pause and guilty conscience if one is honest, as these are times of great corruption, sin, immorality and turning away from and even mocking of God and desecration. So I would not, if I were you, sit back and think, "Why would God smite us? After all, we are so kind and wonderful." These are not kind and wonderful times, far from it. But no, God does not run around setting fires and doing "tit for tat" smiting.
However, the point the Pentecostal is making, that many deliberately or unconsciously miss, is that God is perfectly capable and frequently does withdraw support and blessing. So God does not smite, but he allows people to stew in their own juices of the consequences of their sin, evil, wickedness, or sins of neglect and omission. This is what is called in the Bible the "hardening of the heart." God can and does harden his heart when people have gone too far, and he also allows the hardening of human hearts to take place, particularly when they have tried and presumed repeatedly on his mercy without genuine reform and repentance.
When God withdraws support and allows the hardening of the heart to take place, very bad things can and do happen. This is because the Holy Spirit will not push as hard for goodness in the spirits of all men and women, and instead God will allow their true natures (which without God is not very nice) to have free rein. You have to understand that God, through the Holy Spirit, and through the guardian angels, does a great deal to make life bearable by constantly appealing to people to withstand the temptation of evil and neglect and to opt for the good whenever a choice is before them. Many people think that God is silent and aloof, but this is not true. Jesus reminded the disciples who would bar the children from coming to him that the guardian angels of all children constantly face God, and thus God is particularly protective of how children are treated. All children and their souls are born good, and are only pulled away from goodness through the actions of adults, their environment, and in some cases mental conditions. So God is very aware and through the Holy Spirit and the guardian angels strives to not only keep people on the righteous path of goodness, but also to help them with the difficulties of life. If God withdrew the support of the guardian angels, for example, life would be unimaginably unbearable, as it would be like a type of oxygen that you don't even know about but you need is suddenly sucked out of the atmosphere. Guardian angels and the Holy Spirit provide a very real constant "oxygen" of spiritual and bodily goodness, and they are individually attentive, whether the person believes or not.
So when God hardens his heart, and then allows others to harden their hearts, what happens? Well, look at the tsunami. God did not send the tsunami, but why is it that people did not install a simple warning system in that part of the world until after a quarter of a million people were washed away and died? People are greedy and selfish and did not care about implementing a warning system in that part of world, even though they knew full well the risk.
Why do I read that Victoria has liberal abortion laws, but for five years have not implemented an emergency fire warning system? Again, God does not send the fire, but he gets very tired of selfish and wicked human priorities, so he says, well, go ahead, set your priorities. And then there comes the fires and the warning system is sitting gathering dust on the shelf for five years, because of quarrels about who will pay for it. Money, money, money.
And people are shocked that many of the fires are suspected arson, and not lightning strikes (which can be monitored and I read that they are). Well, how long has a nihilistic and despairing, violent and yobbish mindset been a problem among humans? For decades now. No one has decency and mercy among each other, if one is to watch the "entertainment" that is offered, filled with violent nihilism, and how long will God protect humans from the consequences of each other's inhumanity? As I commented before, when I was in that region of the world, Melbourne and Healesville, where the fires are, Princess Diana was being raked over the coals as "average people" gleefully trumpeted her sexual and intimate matters in "Squidgygate." People were well on their way to being vulgar, coarse and cruel in the middle 1980's, and youth was being lost to nihilism, violence, addiction and thrill seeking.
God does not have to "smite," God simply needs to withdraw his protection and let you all do to each other the lowest inclination that humans will come up with, which is, as we see, pretty low. Are the arsonists horrified at what they did? Apparently not since some have raced out there and started even more fires.
That is what God meant in the Bible when he says he will "raise up an enemy" to smite the disobedient Israelites, for example. He withdraws his special blessing and protection and leaves a group exposed to the very evil that they have either promoted or neglected to address since they are busy being material idolaters and selfish depressives. God is like the parent of the addicted teenager who after repeated attempts to get them to obtain help, finally stands back and lets them fall, as they are so determined to do.
It is the same if one looks at Hurricane Katrina. No, God did not "send" the hurricane to punish people for their sinfulness. However, God withdrew his protection, and so people who worried about the levees breaking, evacuations not being sufficient, and so forth are ignored, and then the trouble comes, big time. To use a modern phrase, at some point God stands back and watches the human caused or exacerbated "train wreck." The cyclone in Burma is another example. There you have a secretive bunch of reincarnation believing Buddhists in charge of the country and they won't even allow aid to help the devestated impoverished victims. Natural disasters are a part of life, but without human intelligence and goodness to anticipate, plan, finance and be good neighbors, it does not matter what one's "faith" is or not: God will stop, at some point, the continual presumptions on his mercy and the lack of mercy that humans show toward each other.
That is what I see over and over. It is like humans are insisting on doing a dry run of the Apocalypse, through their own arrogance and neglect. Thus people are correct to feel that something is very wrong, and to think about the End of Days. Yet they are incorrect that these are those times because, believe me, there will be no mistaking it when it does happen. It's not something that the human puppeteers behind the scenes will manage or mitigate; when it happens it will be full out and unmistakable. Instead you have a time when humans should be so far advanced in decency, compassion, wisdom, stewardship and faith but are actually losing ground and going backwards, not forwards, in all of these areas. Thus humans are bringing on through their own actions and their own selfishness and neglect mini-tribulations and a dry run of the Apocalypse. Like the parent of the addicted teenager God wants nothing more than to be the consoler, yet what response does he get when he tries?
I hope that you have found this helpful.