I truly believe this month is a historic one in Christendom! The most authentic recreation of Noah’s Ark, with three decks of world-class teaching and themed exhibits, opened to the public July 7 in Northern Kentucky.
The first phase of the Ark Encounter themed attraction will be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of our day. In-depth national research indicates millions of people will visit.
As the Ark begins its maiden “voyage” and tens of thousands of people board it this month, I couldn’t help but think of both the differences and similarities between the first Ark voyage and this new one.
The description of the wicked people of Noah’s day increasingly resembles our culture today: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
God’s Word states that Noah was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5). We’re not told exactly what message he preached, but no doubt he called people to repent of their wickedness. Even building his Ark was a form of preaching itself—it was a warning that God would judge, but that He would provide an Ark of salvation for those who trusted Him.
Today we are using our 510-foot-long Ark to preach a message of righteousness: to remind people that God judges sin but provides an Ark of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9).
God told Noah to “Make yourself an ark of gopherwood” (Genesis 6:14). He built a great wooden ship with the dimensions God gave him. We, too, have built a great wooden ship of the same dimensions. And yes, we had to “go-for” a lot of wood! Now, we don’t know what gopherwood was, but we have used 3.1 million board feet of timber to build the Ark.
Noah’s Ark floated for nearly five months during the year Noah’s family spent on the great ship and “then the ark rested . . . on the mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4).
Our 21st-century Ark was built as a reminder that God’s Word is true and that all people are sinners in need of salvation.
Our recreation of Noah’s Ark, however, was not designed to float. After all, God in Genesis 9:15 promised there would never be another global Flood. Our 21st-century Ark was built as a reminder to the world that God’s Word concerning the Flood in Genesis is true, and that all humans are sinners and in need of salvation.
Only eight people boarded Noah’s Ark and God “saved Noah, one of eight people” (2 Peter 2:5). AiG’s Ark will be boarded by millions of people (estimated to be up to two million a year). We pray that those visitors who have not received the gift of salvation will be challenged to commit their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ after touring the Ark and being exposed to our teaching displays and gospel-proclaiming exhibits.
God brought the representative kinds of land-dependent, air-breathing animals to board Noah’s Ark: “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the Ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive” (Genesis 6:19–20).
With our Ark Encounter, God didn’t bring two of every land animal to our ship. But He did send us numerous talented designers, artists, sculptors, and other gifted people to sculpt animals, do scientific research, and build many teaching exhibits for the Ark’s three decks.
I have no doubt that the people of Noah’s day scoffed at him while he was building the Ark. Today, we also have had people from both the secular and Christian communities scoff at AiG’s effort to build this life-size Ark.
Some people have claimed we are just involved in some business venture and little more! In a sense we have built the Ark as a business of sorts. Let me explain.
Do business till I come.
In Luke 19 we read of the parable of the ten minas. Jesus had entrusted resources to people: “So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas.” The passage continues with Christ’s words: “Do business till I come” (Luke 19:13).
This parable reminds us that we need to be on about the business of the King: King Jesus. Christians are to do His business until He returns, which is the business of preaching the gospel to as many as we can and praying the Lord will save many as His Word is proclaimed.
Yes, the just-opened Ark Encounter is in a sense all about business: the business of the King of kings! So bring your family and friends to this Christ-centered attraction. I fully expect it will be the most amazing family vacation you’ve ever enjoyed together! We are within a one-day drive of almost 2/3 of the US population. Plan your trip at ArkEncounter.com.