Why the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum Exist

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Do you realize that creationists will end up in hell just like an atheist unless they’ve received the free gift of salvation?

I thought of this recently when I learned that Answers in Genesis received two major awards from the Christian Worldview Film Festival (the largest such Christian movie festival in the world). The awards were for the movie As in the Days of Noah that’s shown on the third deck of our Ark Encounter attraction. These two awards were for Best Short Film and Best Gospel Presentation.

Did you know that before the Ark opened in 2016, and before we built the Creation Museum 11 years ago, some people in the church actually told me that our attractions wouldn’t draw non-Christians if we overtly presented God’s Word and the gospel?

But I told them that the whole purpose of building these attractions was evangelistic. I added that if we just presented evidence for creation and the flood, there was no point in constructing these venues.

I had no doubt that if we built these attractions in a first-class manner, with quality like that seen at Universal or Disney, and presented biblical messages tastefully but boldly, people would indeed come. And they have!

Those of you who have already visited AiG’s attractions know that the gospel is plainly and powerfully presented at both locations and in numerous places.

We estimate that around 30% of those who visit the Ark Encounter are non-Christians.

We estimate that around 30% of those who visit the Ark Encounter are non-Christians. Also, 80% of the bus tours that bring tourists to the Ark are not church tours but secular ones (of course, there are probably many Christians on those buses).

I’ve spoken to non-Christians who have visited both the Ark and Creation Museum and asked what they thought of these Christian themed attractions. The general feedback they’ve given me can be summarized like this:

We are impressed by the quality and attention to detail seen in the exhibits. We also found the teaching content fascinating and challenging. My friends and I were discussing the fact we’ve never heard some of these arguments before. It’s certainly made clear about what you believe and that these are very Christian facilities, but you present it all in a very tasteful way. We’re going to recommend it to our friends.

We also get another (and even better) type of feedback. One of the Ark Encounter guests was recorded on video telling us about his unsaved son-in-law. He watched the As in the Days of Noah movie (mentioned above) that is shown on the third deck of the Ark:

My son-in-law was not saved, and we had been praying for him for so long. . . . We got to the Ark and [watched the movie] . . . and he surrendered to the Lord Jesus. . . . It was just a wonderful moment for us. . . .

We’re all indebted to y’all for putting together that wonderful place for him to find the Lord Jesus. . . . I have just an average old testimony. . . . I’m envious of him now because he has that wonderful testimony about finding salvation on the Ark.

I’ve often heard non-Christians discuss the teaching content of various signs at the exhibits.

And many guests have told us they are amazed at the diversity of people who visit the Ark and the Creation Museum. As you walk around, you will notice people from different countries and hear several languages spoken. On just one day during the busy summer last year, I observed the following groups of people at the Ark Encounter:

  • Roman Catholic nuns
  • Muslims from Baghdad
  • Orthodox Jews
  • Amish and Mennonites
  • People from India
  • And the list goes on.

You wouldn’t see such a mix of people attending the average church in America. But they are here!

Now, not only are AiG’s attractions reaching millions of people with God’s Word and the gospel, but our websites also have about 30 million visits a year from people all over the world. And our books, DVDs, and curricula are being distributed to thousands upon thousands around the world, and all with one purpose: to see people directed to the truths of the Word of God and its message of salvation most of all. If you have heard me or one of our talented speakers give talks at conferences, churches, and other places, you know we all present the message of biblical authority and the saving gospel.

Dr. Georgia Purdom and I gave a talk at the University of Central Oklahoma earlier this year. At the UCO event, I made sure to share the gospel. It was attended by quite a number of secular and Christian media, the president of the university and his council, the leader of the LGBTQ group on campus and some of its members, and a mix of others, Christians and non-Christians.

Remember the Bill Nye “the Science Guy” debate just over four years ago? Many people commented to me how thrilling it was to see the gospel presented (more than once) to Bill Nye and the millions who watched my debate presentation. Then almost two years ago, I clearly presented the gospel to Nye again during the “second debate” when we filmed our two-hour walk through the Ark the day after it opened.

I would see no point in having an apologetics ministry like Answers in Genesis if we weren’t proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was brought up in a home with parents who worked very hard (in different sacrificial ways) to reach as many people as they could with God’s Word and the gospel. I can’t emphasize enough the phenomenal impact this example had on my life. I would see no point in having an apologetics ministry like Answers in Genesis if we weren’t proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When I spoke at a home educators conference in Washington State recently, two ladies came up to me after one of my presentations. They said something like this:

We’ve never heard you speak before. We came thinking we were going to hear talks on the evidence for creation. But we heard talks that also emphasized the Bible and a biblical worldview. We now want to use AiG’s Bible curricula and other resources.

We make no apology for the fact that AiG is an evangelistic, biblical-authority ministry. Yes, we deal with apologetics in regard to the creation/evolution issue, but it’s with the purpose of proclaiming that the history in the Bible is true—and that’s why the gospel based in that history is true. And, of course, we equip Christians so that they can more effectively witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and challenge people with the most vital message of all time

The Ark proclaims the wonderful message of Christ’s salvation. There was one door into the Ark that allowed Noah and his family to be saved from the flood. Similarly, there is only one “door” that can save us today from eternal judgment. Jesus Christ is that door.

Thank you for praying for AiG and for supporting us. When you partner with AiG, you are investing in a cutting-edge ministry that is being blessed by God as we boldly honor his Word and unashamedly proclaim the gospel message.

Yes, we don’t want to see people just believe in creation. We want to see them experience the life-changing gospel of Christ and become Christians. That’s what this ministry is all about. And that’s why AiG provides the resources we do and have built two world-class Christian attractions.

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