WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) — In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up.
For now, there’s only a foundation, some concrete pillars and the ribs. But the Christian ministry building the ark says the public will be awe-struck by the size of the 510-foot-long ship when it’s finished next year.
“This is going to be huge attraction just for the structure itself,” said Ken Ham, founder of the Kentucky-based group, Answers in Genesis.
On Thursday, journalists were allowed to tour the site for the first time — following a hard rainfall, as it turned out.
The religious theme park project that was announced nearly five years ago is still afloat, after hitting a stretch of rough waters. The ministry had to break the project into phases after private funding stalled a few years ago due to a soft economy. The ark is the first phase, and plans for other attractions at the site were put on hold.
Answers in Genesis says it will pour nearly $90 million of private donations and bond funding into the attraction, which will be called the Ark Encounter. So far, Ham said, about $70 million has been raised.
The Christian group says it has researched the Noah story to determine the size of the boat. In the Bible account, the ark was built by Noah to carry pairs of all the earth’s animals as the world was destroyed by a flood.
“Most people don’t really understand the size of the ark, and we’re going to answer questions like, how could he fit all the animals on board,” Ham said at the construction site Thursday.
Ham’s ministry opened the Creation Museum in 2007 a few miles from here. It has drawn criticism from science educators for exhibits that challenge evolution and promote a view that the earth is about 6,000 years old.
For more about the Creation Museum, visit www.CreationMuseum.org. The official website for the Ken Ham Ark project is here: Ark Encounter. If you are looking for scientific facts, based on biblical truth, Ken Ham’s, Answers in Genesis, offers a plethora of eye-opening truths!
TV star and educator Bill Nye, who suggests the tourist-friendly ark could divert young people away from science, debated Ham on evolution at a widely seen event at the Creation Museum last year. Nye said if Noah’s ark had actually been built, it would have been destroyed by the sea. (Scroll down to see the powerful debate by Ken Ham).
The big boat project took another hit last year when the state of Kentucky withdrew a tourism sales tax incentive that would have meant about $18 million for the attraction after it is up and running.
State officials said in December that tax incentives shouldn’t be used to “fund religious indoctrination.” Answers in Genesis disagreed and filed a federal lawsuit to get back into the incentive program, saying they should not be excluded because of their religious beliefs. The state has asked a judge to dismiss the suit, and a hearing is scheduled for next week.
Ham said the ark attraction is meant to reach more people “with God’s word.”
“But we’re not forcing people to come here, they come of their own free will,” Ham said. “And when they come here and go through, we’re not going to be forcing them to believe our message, we don’t do that. They’re going to have a great experience regardless of whether they agree with us or not.”
This project is a powerful outreach with an awesome message! Imagine the souls that will be brought to Christ when they are taught with confidence, to believe the WORD of God and learn about biblical scientific facts!
What we can remember about Noah still applies to us as Christians today, Noah was worthy to escape the wrath of God, he was found righteous, and he obeyed God’s commands. The ARK REPRESENTS salvation, and that salvation is only found in JESUS CHRIST! Read about the parallels to the “Days of Noah” below!
In the Faithful Service of Jesus Christ,
Source: AP and Contribution by Lisa Muhar.
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Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
Parallels to End Time Prophecy and the Days of Noah
In the end times, Jesus tells us: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” – Matthew 24:37 (KJV).
But what exactly does that mean? We know already, that just as God destroyed the earth by water, the earth will once again be destroyed, but this time by fire. Besides the coming judgment, we also know there are several key parallels to prophecy and Noah. You can read more here (Scroll down to the prophecy section)
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men- 2 Peter 3:6-7 (KJV).
When Noah built the Ark, it stood as a symbol of salvation. And only those who were aboard the Ark, and entered through the door of salvation, sealed by the HAND GOD, were saved from the coming judgment.
The literal and symbolic DOOR that NO MAN CAN OPEN OR SHUT IS A MULTIPLE PROPHECY! The divine hand of God who literally closed (sealed) and opened the door of the Ark for Noah. The door in scriptures REPRESENTS JESUS CHRIST. No man can enter into heaven, only through JESUS CHRIST. This symbolic reference also foretold the coming of JESUS CHRIST, AND THE SEAL of our Salvation is JESUS Christ. Like Noah was sealed by the hand of GOD, we are sealed by the HOLY SPIRIT of JESUS when we are saved!
The Door that Was Sealed by God – That can only be opened or shut by JESUS who holds the keys!
- When God ‘sealed’ Noah in the Ark he closed the door with his VERY OWN hand, “the LORD closed it behind him.” (Genesis 7:16 )
And even in the foretelling of the coming of Jesus Christ:
- And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open – Isaiah 22:22 (KJV).
When Jesus walked the earth, he again confirmed this:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.- John 14:6 (KJV).
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture- John 10:9 (KJV).
Revelation confirms this, too!
These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth – Revelation 3:7 (KJV).
The Biblical Story of the Ark can be found in Genesis Chapters 6-9. The instructions for the Ark built by Noah are in Genesis 6:13-22:
- 13) And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
- 14) Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
- 15) And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16) A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
- 17) And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
- 18) But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
- 19) And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
- 20) Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
- 21) And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
- 22) Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.