Opinion | Prepping for the Apocalypse, the Biblical Way


In a small town in Kentucky, an immense replica of Noah’s ark looms over the countryside.


Ark of the Apocalypse

In a small town in Kentucky, an immense replica of Noah’s ark looms over the countryside.

Go ahead and read? This is from 2 Peter 3. By the word of God, the heavens came into being long ago, and the Earth was brought forth from water and through water. Through these, the world of that time perished, when it was flooded. By the same word, the present heavens and Earth are stored up for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. [CHORAL MUSIC] I need to warn my children, and their children after them, what can happen if they do not follow the Creator and his ways. [CHORAL MUSIC] But the generations that followed grew extremely corrupt. And finally, the world became such a dreadful place. God is now washing it clean. Here’s what I will tell you — it is ginormous. And so whether you believe in the Bible account or not, I would encourage you to come see this modern marvel of workmanship. Because you’re never going to see something like this on dry land anywhere else. When they kept saying they’re going to build a life-sized Noah’s Ark in Grant County, I kind of, in my head, said, ha ha ha, I’ll have to see some gopher wood go in before I believe that they’re really going to build a giant Ark in Grant County. And so the project was about 10 years in the talks before the first shovel of dirt actually was turned. And I mean, we’re talking into $100 million to build the project. And it has changed the face of Grant County. As you can see, this is a unique structure. It’s only been done one other time. And we don’t have the plans for that — all we have is the biblical dimensions: 510 feet long, 51 feet high, 84 feet wide. That’s 300 cubits by 30 cubits by 50 cubits. All right, let me stop and explain what a cubit is. A cubit in scripture was a unit of measurement, typically from fingertip to elbow. And if everybody holds up their cubit, and you know, we all have a little bit different cubit. You know, sometimes kids have a smaller cubit, adults have different cubits. But they tended to be one of two cubits — you had a common or a short cubit, a standard cubit. And then you had a longer or royal cubit — which was a cubit and a hand breath. Now the long cubit was also called the older cubit. So more than likely, Noah was using the older cubit when he built the Ark. The temple was built by the older cubit standard, as well. Just to give you a taste. And we do see that in Scripture. I think one thing that stands out to a lot of people, that maybe they don’t realize, was the number of animals that had to be on the Ark. You know, the Bible, we think of two of every kind, and then some people say seven of some. But the Hebrew seems to indicate that probably 14 of each of the clean animals, and the flying creatures. So that would mean even something like a giraffe, probably had 14 of them. Not just two, like you usually see on the little fairy tale Ark things. Of course, I just live across the road from it and I watched them build it. I’m glad it come — I was tickled to death. Williamstown was finally getting something. Because all of our businesses in Williamstown closed. And back in my old days, we had probably 50 stores, we even had a Kroger store. Three banks, and one bank left. The rest of them went shot. I’m close enough if we have a flood, I can walk over there. But I don’t think Noah would let me in, because I’m too big of a sinner. Well, it’s not a great story when you really dive into it. That’s why one of the exhibits on there, it’s titled “Fairy Tale Ark.” If we’re teaching our kids that it‘s a fairy tale, and it’s just a nice story with a little plastic boat with animals sticking out the top — that’s not the Biblical account. The Biblical account is of death and destruction. God started over, basically. And this was the ship that brought the family and the animals to safety. The world had been increasingly evil. We saw all sorts of corruption. We saw death and suffering and violence just reigning supreme. The Bible even goes so far as to say that every intention of the thought of the heart was evil all the time. It gives you a taste of that kind of stuff that we’ve seen — it’s probably rampant child sacrifice. The Lord is going to enact a judgment. And this judgment was a worldwide catastrophic flood. You have a very violent group of people that were met with a very violent flood. But at the same time, you saw a means of salvation in all that. The Lord sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness, No. 1. And he sent the Ark. Whereby, you enter that door, you could be saved. [CHORAL MUSIC] God’s timing is perfect, and he always keeps his promises. The rainbow was placed in the sky as a promise that God would never destroy the earth again with a flood. But he also promises in Revelations, the elements themselves will burn with a fervent heat to burn this earth up — to cleanse it, to purify it with fire. [CHORAL MUSIC] Jesus compared the time of his return to the days of Noah. People were going about their daily affairs, not realizing that judgment was at hand. And he said the same thing is going to happen when he returns — people aren’t going to be paying attention. That they’re not paying attention to the signs of the times, if you will. But why destroy? Why have a hell? Why have judgment? It’s because God’s holy. And God’s holiness cannot be around sin. That’s why when people touch, like in the Old Testament, touch the holy mountain, they just, like, died. When you touched the Ark of the Covenant, you just died, because holiness and sin don’t really go together. And that’s why we need Christ. And on the cross, we see the love of God and the justice of God meeting. So he is both just and the justifier for those who have faith. Well the Ark now is your belief in Jesus — the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. I mean, that’s the safety, the rest that you have. You’re going to be spared at the time of the apocalypse. When this apocalypse happens, it ain’t going to affect us, even if we’re here. We’ll be in the fire, just like the children, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego in the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar. [CHORAL MUSIC] According the Bible, all people who do not believe in Jesus Christ will suffer eternal wrath. But at the same time, each of those people have been drawn by both Christ and the Father. And they have no excuse not to seek after it. Verily, I say to you, this generation shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. I thought I’d tie that Noah in there for you. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct, and godliness, as you wait for the day of God, and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire, and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for a new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come. And what I say in you, I say to all, keep awake. The end. [CHORAL MUSIC] I wonder what the new world will be like.

Video by Jeremy Seifert

Mr. Seifert is a filmmaker.

In northern Kentucky there sits a gigantic replica of Noah’s ark, a 510-foot-long behemoth that towers over its surroundings. Built by a controversial fundamentalist Christian organization, “Ark Encounter” is designed as a teaching aid for what its builders say is the Bible’s literal truth — including the contentions that the Earth was created in six days and that dinosaurs coexisted with humans.

But this latter-day ark is not only about the past. In the short documentary above, it is also a colossal reminder of those interpretations of the Bible that foretell an apocalypse. And in an era like ours, when even nonbelievers may be carrying a sense of apocalyptic dread, it’s worth considering: What should you do when you believe the end is nigh?

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Jeremy Seifert is a documentary filmmaker based in North Carolina.

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