At a cost of $100 million, a life-size wooden Ark opens this summer. What’s behind such a massive project?
Yes, we have built a replica of Noah’s Ark based on the dimensions given in the Bible. Our research indicates that this new life-size Ark is the “largest freestanding timber-frame structure in the world.” Timber framing is a distinctive style of construction that uses heavy timbers to frame the structure instead of slender lumber.
Some people have asked, “Will it float?” And the answer is simply no! We didn’t build it to float. The Bible teaches clearly there will never be another global Flood:
And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth . . . the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Genesis 9:12–15).
No, God’s Word makes it clear there will never be another global Flood. There will be a coming judgment, but by fire:
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:10–12).
The life-size Ark was designed as a wooden ship, inside and out, but the interior includes modern amenities, such as air conditioning and handicap access, so millions of visitors can enjoy this biblically themed attraction.
The reason we have built a replica of Noah’s Ark, filled with exhibits, is summed up in the name of the attraction—Ark Encounter.
We want people to come and have an encounter with Noah’s Ark and related attractions, and in so doing, have an encounter with God’s Word. As a result, they will have an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Other than the Cross, I believe the Ark is the greatest reminder of the salvation message. Noah placed one door in the Ark—only those who went through that one door were saved from the judgment of the Flood. Later, God’s Son stepped into history to become Jesus Christ the God-man. Just as Noah and his family went through the Ark’s only door to be saved, so too we need to go through the one “door” to be saved from the coming judgment.
Jesus said, “
I am the door. If anyone
enters by Me, he will be saved, and
will go in and out and find pasture”
(John 10:9). He is the only way: “
the way, the truth, and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through
Me” (John 14:6).
Also, as we look at our Western culture
today, Christians see many similarities
to the wicked days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5 records: “
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.”
What a time to build an Ark to remind people that God is a righteous God who judges wickedness! But just as God lovingly provided salvation to Noah and his family after they entered the Ark by faith, so also God has provided an Ark of salvation for us, through Christ’s death on the Cross and His Resurrection. By faith each of us needs to go through the “door,” the Lord Jesus Christ, to find safety in the Ark of salvation.
After Jesus was crucified, a big stone was rolled over the tomb like a door, and that door was opened when Jesus rose from the dead. Exhibits in the Ark deal with the doors in Scripture. As we talk about those doors, we are going to be graciously challenging people to evaluate where they stand concerning Christ’s free gift of salvation!
Yes, the Ark Encounter could be called an evangelistic Ark. I believe it will be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of our era.
Every believer, in whatever walk of life, is to be doing the business of the King—proclaiming the truth of God’s Word and the gospel. This is just another venue for sharing the gospel. We hope many readers will use the media clamor as another opportunity to talk with your friends and colleagues about the truth of God’s Word and the promise of the Savior.
While you’re at it, invite your friends to come with you to see the world’s largest freestanding timber-frame structure, to see what all the hubbub is about. You can be sure, while they’re here, that they will hear the gospel clearly presented in its historical and biblical context.