Pastor Ron E. Thompson: The Day I Encountered an Ark

I am in the beautiful countryside of Williamstown, Kentucky with my eyes focused upward to a titanic-like structure some seven stories high and as long as one and a half football fields. It is so massive, even giraffes faint at the height of this wonder! No, it is not a skyscraper I am viewing, but a full-size ark built to the exact dimensions God gave Noah in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. It is part of a theme park called the Ark Encounter. It is not a shrine of interest only to Christians. Since it opened in 2016, millions of people of different faiths from all over the world have visited the Ark Encounter. Some 40 minutes away is the Creation Museum, a 75,000 square foot facility, home to ultramodern exhibits, several theaters, and a new conservatory coming soon. Both sites are a Christian evangelistic explanation about the worldwide flood that took the lives of everyone except Noah and his family.

The CEO and founder of these two projects is Ken Hamm, an Australian apologist who believes in a young earth creation. My Seminary professor, Dr. John Whitcomb, was also a pioneer of the six-day creation through his book, “The Genesis Flood.” Most of the scientific community as well as higher education sources hold to the theory of evolution and the older earth philosophy. It was refreshing to visit and enjoy the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum because of its biblically based perspective. Praise the Lord for scholars who believe the truth of the Bible! Now let us examine humanity as God viewed it.

  1. The Evil of Humanity. The first stage of human history ended during Noah’s time. First, fallen angels possessed men who impregnated women whose descendants were giants. Satan wanted to keep Christ, the Seed of the Woman, from coming. God threw them all into chains of darkness (II Peter 2:4), later to be cast into the lake of fire (II Peter 3:7). Corruption was everywhere. Every moment of every day was filled with ungodly thoughts and wicked imaginations continually. How can we understand this depravity in Genesis 6:1-13 without comparing it with the spiritual abomination in our own generation? The prophecy in II Timothy 3:1-7 NABRE is happening:

But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them. For some of these slip into homes and make captives of women weighed down by sins, led by various desires, always trying to learn but never able to reach a knowledge of the truth.”

  1. The Execution of Humanity. God chose Noah, a just man, perfect in God’s sight, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). God instructed him to build the ark, a prototype of which can be seen in the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. Only the Lord could have designed such a vessel without any blueprint or model. Hebrews 11:7 says Noah, being warned of God’s plans, built the ark that saved his family. Then, he was instructed to bring the animals into the ark, and God’s creatures obediently entered under His direction. Finally, Noah and his family were warmly invited to enter (Genesis 7:1). Beloved, you too can enter the ark of safety, which is Christ, but remember, there is only one door (II Peter 2:5).

It took Noah 120 years to build the ark. He preached about God’s coming judgment, but nobody believed him. Many kinds of weather have pummeled our planet, but the greatest catastrophe that ever occurred was the flood during Noah’s day. Rain poured for forty days and nights, burying the mountains (Genesis 7:20). Every living thing perished according to Jesus (Luke 17:26-30). Volcanic activity caused the earth to fault, sink, and change its shape (Job 12:15). Finally, after 371 days, the waters receded and the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, today known as Armenia where Noah and his family stepped out on dry land. Eight souls believed God’s warnings and were safe in the ark. God promises to destroy this earth again, this time by fire (II Peter 3:7). Are you in the safety of the ark?

  1. The Effect on Humanity. This practical list is lengthy, but not exhaustive. Sin grieves the heart of God, and it did in Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5-6). We do not always understand God’s ways, but we can trust Him (Isaiah 55:8-9). All things are possible with God (Ephesians 3:20-21). God must judge sin, but He is also merciful and will never leave us without a way to return to Him (Micah 7:9). We can obey God even when the world thinks we are ridiculous (Acts 5:29). We can never go wrong when we listen to God (Genesis 6:22). Finally, God remembers us, and always keeps His promises (Genesis 8:8).

Beyond these truths, the most significant message is about salvation. Noah’s salvation mirrors our own salvation. He was saved by grace (Genesis 6:8) and so are we (Ephesians 2:8-9). Noah was saved by faith (Hebrews 11:7) and we are also (John 3:16). Noah was physically saved by obeying God and building an ark. We are saved by obeying God’s call. John MacArthur adds: “True salvation demonstrates itself in obedience to Christ from the initial obedience to the gospel command to repent and believe (Acts 5:32), and to a life pattern of obedience to the Word” (Romans 6:16). When Noah’s ordeal ended, he remembered God’s goodness and built an altar of sacrifice and thanksgiving (Genesis 8:20). What an example he set for all of us here on earth to follow. Have you encountered the Ark?

Pastor Ron E Thompson

Ron E. Thompson is a retired pastor/evangelist having had a ministry spanning over sixty years. He served as pastor of churches in Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and South Carolina. As Director of Brethren Evangelistic Ministries, he held numerous evangelistic and revival crusades in twenty-two states. He led a team that conducted evangelism seminars throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Ron is author of two books: Hurricane Evangelism and Sermons in Song. He is also a musician, having studied piano under noted composer-conductor, Hubert Tillery. Music has served him well as an avocation in his life and ministry. He currently is a pianist at the Fountain of Life Bible Church in Johnson City, TN. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater College and his Master of Divinity degree from Grace Theological Seminary. He did graduate studies at Wheaton College and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He attended the North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in1994. Ron’s home is in Limestone, Tennessee. He is the father of two daughters: Evangeline Hales, a musician at Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA and violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony; Dr. Melody Archer, Retired Administrator and Principal of Tri-Cities Christian Schools, Blountville, TN.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Please disable ad blocker.

We work hard to write our articles and provide you with the content you enjoy. The ads on the site allow us to continue our work while feeding our families. If you'd please whitelist our site in your ad blocker or remove your ad blocker altogether, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!